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Burt Rutan Claims Lifetime Achievement Award

Photo from Northrop Grumman release: Burt Rutan in front of SpaceShipOne

Burt Rutan, founder of Scaled Composites, a supporting company of Northrop Grumman, has received Fightglobal‘s Lifetime Achievement Award for his groundbreaking work with aircraft and long-range flight.

Rutan was presented the award by Flightglobal, which is a part of Flight International magazine, on Nov. 12 at a Dubai Air Show event. A company release said Rutan is best known for building both the Voyager and the GlobalFlyer, which were the first planes to circle the world on a single tank of gas, and described Rutan as an “iconic aircraft designer.”

Paul Meyer, vice president and general manager of advanced programs and technology for Northrop Grumman’s aerospace systems business, said that Rutan has “revolutionary ideas and systems [that] have brought humanity closer to a time when mass transportation access to space is a reality.”

Rutan can now claim to have been behind five aircraft on display at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., but his career began in 1965 with Edwards Air Force Base, where he was a flight test engineer working on C-130 Hercules and F-4 Phantoms.

After seven years as a test project engineer, he founded the Rutan Aircraft Factory in pursuit of designing aircraft. This effort resulted in the creation of VariEze, which was a stall resistant home-built aircraft. Rutan is now retired after a full 46 year career in the aerospace industry.

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