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Company Creating RC Aircraft Based on Rutan Designs
May 20, 2015 - A new company, RutanRC, is developing a series of radio-controlled aircraft based on the innovative designs of Burt Rutan. Plans are to create and market the aircraft beginning with the Ansari XPrize-winning White Knight and SpaceShipOne, then add other designs that could include the Ares, Boomerang, LongEZ, the canard motor glider Solitaire, Voyager, Defiant, Catbird - even his yet-to-be-seen latest design, the SkiGull.
Leading the company are Dan Kreigh, who worked with Rutan as a Scaled Composites engineer on many designs including the original SpaceShipOne, and Jeff Corsiglia, who led R&D for AirHogs creating such firsts as HELIX +4, SharpShooter, and other RC hits. Rutan will be an adviser on design and functionality as well as an ongoing source of innovation. More information on the models will also be available at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015.
White Knight/SpaceShipOne made history in 2004 at Mojave Airport, California, when WK carried SS1 to about 50,000 feet, released it, and SS1 rocketed into suborbital space before returning to earth via Rutan’s ingenious “feathering” tail mechanism. According to RutanRC, operators can actually conduct the separation and “feathering” maneuvers via RC or fly them separately.
White Knight has a six-foot wingspan while SS1’s measures 16.5 inches with a 27-inch overall length. Both models will be built with durable foam, carbon fiber reinforcement, and decals that match the original.
The model planes will retail for $299, but will be available for $169 through May 26 during a crowd funding effort aimed at getting the series off the ground. Product delivery is projected for November 2015. Contact the company directly at eaa@RutanRC.com.