Scaled Composites

From Academic Kids

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Scaled logo

Scaled Composites (often abbreviated as Scaled) was founded in 1982 in Mojave, California by famous aircraft designer Burt Rutan out of what used to be the Rutan Aircraft Factory. The company was founded to develop experimental aircraft, but now focuses on designing and developing concept craft and prototype fabrication processes for aircraft and other vehicles. It is known for interesting designs, for its use of non-metal, composite materials, and for winning the Ansari X Prize with its experimental spacecraft SpaceShipOne.

The company made a splash in April 2003 when it revealed that it was working on a privately funded spacecraft, in an attempt to win the Ansari X Prize for the first private, manned spaceflight. This experimental rocket powered spacecraft was given the name SpaceShipOne. On 17 December 2003, they announced SpaceShipOne's first supersonic flight, the first flight of its kind by a privately funded aircraft. SpaceShipOne successfully made this flight, reaching 68000 feet and 930mph (Mach 1.2). The craft was brought aloft by the White Knight carrier aircraft. On the same day, Paul Allen, one of the founders of Microsoft, confirmed publicly the rumors that he was the angel investor behind the SpaceShipOne venture.

On April 1, 2004, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued the company what it called the world's first license for a sub-orbital manned rocket flight. The license was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Commercial Space Transportation, which has backed licenses for more than 150 commercial launches of unmanned launch vehicles in its 20 years, but never a license for manned flight on a sub-orbital trajectory. The Mojave Airport, operating part-time as Mojave Spaceport, is the launch point for SpaceShipOne. SpaceShipOne performed the first privately-funded human spaceflight on June 21 2004. Flight 16P on 29 September 2004 and Flight 17P on 4 October 2004 won the X-Prize for Scaled Composites and SpaceShipOne.

Before SpaceShipOne, Rutan was best known for his Voyager aircraft, which his brother, Dick Rutan, and Jeana Yeager flew around the world without refueling, in 1986. Although the role was not widely publicized, Scaled also manufactured the 1988 Stars & Stripes catamaran for Dennis Conner's entry of that year in the America's Cup yacht race.

Contents

Rutan Aircraft Factory aircraft

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Rutan Model 61 Long-EZ

Scaled Composites aircraft

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Beechcraft 2000 Starship, based upon the Model 115
Scaled Composites Model 76 Voyager
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Scaled Composites Model 76 Voyager
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Scaled Composites Model 202 Boomerang
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Scaled Composites Model 395 UCAV

Non-aircraft work

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1988's Stars & Stripes

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