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Legendary Aircraft Designer Burt Rutan to be Celebrated at AirVenture 2019

May 30, 2019 - Renowned aerospace engineer and aircraft designer Burt Rutan will be celebrated at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019 this July with a number of presentations and Rutan-designed airplanes on display.

"We're thrilled to honor Burt Rutan, who has been at the forefront of aerospace innovation for decades, this year at AirVenture," said Rick Larsen, EAA vice president of communities and member programs, who also coordinates AirVenture features and attractions. "His work in the aviation industry has continuously pushed the envelope in terms of design and energy efficiency and has inspired many to think outside the box."

Burt, the founder of two innovative aerospace companies, Rutan Aircraft Factory and Scaled Composites, has developed 48 research aircraft throughout his lengthy career, is a member of both the International Air & Space Hall of Fame and National Aviation Hall of Fame, and has been the co-recipient of the Collier Trophy on two separate occasions. Among the notable aircraft Burt has designed or helped develop are:

  • Iconic homebuilt designs: VariViggen, VariEze, Quickie, Defiant, Long-EZ, Solitaire, Catbird, and Boomerang.
  • Voyager, which was the first airplane to fly around the world nonstop without refueling and earned Burt the 1986 Collier Trophy along with pilots Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager.
  • SpaceShipOne, the first and still the only privately developed and funded manned craft to reach space, and the aircraft that earned Burt the 2004 Collier Trophy.

He was a near-continuous visitor to AirVenture from 1971 to 2015. From 1972 to 2010 his companies unveiled 24 separate research prototypes at the EAA fly-in conventions.

Burt will take part in Theater in the Woods evening programming on Thursday, July 25, as well as a Homebuilts in Review session and three daytime forums during the week. Rutan-designed aircraft will be prominently displayed throughout the week at AirVenture 2019 as well.

"I'm looking forward to returning to Oshkosh and taking part in AirVenture 2019," Burt said. "Since debuting the VariViggen at EAA Oshkosh in 1972, Oshkosh has been an important part of my career and life and I always enjoy interacting with homebuilders, EAA members, and aviation enthusiasts in general."

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