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RutanRC Turning Burt’s Designs Into Flying RC Models
By James Wynbrandt
July 22, 2015 - Ever dreamed of flying legendary aircraft designed by Burt Rutan, like the Long-EZ? SpaceShipOne? Voyager?
Well, soon you’ll be able to stop dreaming and start flying them with the debut of RutanRC, a new radio-controlled (RC) model manufacturer whose goal is “to make RC models of all of Burt’s designs,” according to company co-founder Jeff Corsiglia.
He and partner Dan Kreigh are longtime associates of Rutan, who attended the company’s rollout presentation here at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. That event featured a prototype of one of the first RC models planned for production, SpaceShipOne.
Kreigh, a former Scaled Composites engineer, has been working with Rutan for 25 years and performed the structural analysis on many of Rutan’s designs. Corsiglia is “one of the finest designers of radio-controlled models,” Rutan said, and all three of them are dedicated RC enthusiasts.
Rutan, who will serve as an advisor on design and functionality, noted that as a teen he built RC models and competed in Academy of Model Aeronautics national competitions.
Rutan joked that some might think the new company has a death wish, as “there are only 46 [Rutan] models, and then there’s nothing to do,” before adding, “We do have some new things in the hopper.”
Corsiglia, meanwhile noted, “We see this new company as an incubator for new concepts. We want to be open to the inventor community,” and the company intends to create “a Rutan Prize for innovation in model aeronautics.”
The first model planned for production is the Long-EZ, perhaps as soon as two to three months from now, followed by the combination of White Knight One and SpaceShipOne. The price of the models will be “competitive with existing RC models of the same size and complexity,” Corsiglia said, with the Long-EZ about $199.