Rutan

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Wulfenite, Jun 23, 2004.

  1. Wulfenite

    Wulfenite The King

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    In a 100 years will Burt Rutan be considered an aviation demi-god on the order of the Wright Brothers, Doolittle, or Jeppesen?

    When you start to look at his collective body of work its clear that he's set himself well apart from any other person who's set out to design an airplane.... or anything else for that matter. I'm starting to think he belongs in a class with John Moses Browning, Henery Ford, and Edison.
     
  2. ATL Peach Girl

    ATL Peach Girl ♥Meezers♥

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    Is that the pilot of "Spaceship 1"?? he was on Leno tonight and I have to give those guys a huge hats off......

    I was thinking and wondering about that myself tonight.......will he be regarded as one of the pioneers of flight???

    I love the fact that this little venture was only 3 yrs in the planning and was privately funded and had so much less red tape than NASA.......I think they will be taking lots more flights to space, and I suspect he will be staying longer up there next time.....(can he physically do that??)
     

  3. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    In aviation terms, the other guys you’ve mentioned will be Newton, Bell and Edison. Rutan will be Einstein.

    And Burt’s best is yet to come. What he is capable of creating varies directly with the development capital he has. As his fame spreads and his genius becomes more undeniable, the more money investors are willing to risk on his projects. Now that Paul Allen has been caught up in this funding snowball, the sky’s the limit (pun intended). And I don’t think Burt has yet created his Theory of Relativity.
     
  4. TheGrinch

    TheGrinch

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    He is successful as a pure inventor, but generally a failure as a pragmatic designer. He designed a utility aircraft that did well in the bush aircraft application performance wise, but was entirely impractical in the field as the pilot would have had to lift the load over a waist high boom to get it to the fuselage.

    Grinch
     
  5. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    Grinch, I think you’re one eighty off course and couldn’t disagree more. I don’t know that Burt has ever invented a thing. I’ve scoured the Internet and can’t find indication that he holds even a single patent. And I can’t recall a single feature in any of his aircraft that I haven’t seen before elsewhere.

    Burt’s genius is in finding solutions in what others have overlooked. Where others see problems, he sees potential. Take the Boomerang (IMO, his most brilliant design) as an example. There’ve been other airplanes with composite airframes or multiple boom fuselages or forward swept wings or asymmetrical wings or multiple engines with mismatched horsepower and different sized propellers in different planes, but no one had rolled all that into a single aircraft. Until Burt. By combining all those features -– none of which he invented -– in a way no one else had before, he radically reduced the most serious safety and performance limitations to the design of light twins; flaws that have been inherent since the days of the Wrights.

    There are thousands of Rutan-branded kit planes flying today, tens of thousands if you include the Rutan knock-offs. They're (relatively) easy and inexpensive to build, have exceptionally safe flying characteristics, yet are fast and fuel frugal.

    Rutan-built aircraft hold a bushel-basket full of records for speed, altitude, payload and range. And other designers steal shamelessly from Rutan’s designs. If that’s not a testament to pragmatism I don’t know what is.

    So if neglecting to include a tailgate in a single utility plane makes him a general pragmatic failure, God help the rest of us.
     
  6. Bushflyr

    Bushflyr ʇno uıƃuɐɥ ʇsnɾ Millennium Member

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    Out of curiosity, what plane was that? I thought I was familiar with most of his designs but can't recall one that fits your description.
     
  7. TheGrinch

    TheGrinch

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    Grizzly.

    http://autohobbypage.com/cgi-bin/03/image.pl?/show/03/osh/osh014.jpg

    Tennesse, I understand your point, but Rutan has no successful commercial designs because he generally discounts practicality of construction, mass production, etc. The Starship is as close as he got, but it failed as well.

    The Longeze was eclipsed by other kitbuilts who put emphasis on practical utility, improving construction methods and construction manual development. They expanded the market by making their airplanes buildable for more people. Homebuilts now have utility, bagagge capability, etc. that make them practical for serious IFR transportation. They lack the pure efficiency of a Vari or Longeze, but that is of little consequence once you want to bring more than a toothbrush along on the trip.

    He is a pure, conceptual designer. Brilliant in a research mode, a failure in commercial competition.

    Grinch