One of America’s foremost entrepreneurs, aeronautical engineers, and spacecraft designers will be the honored guest at “An Evening With Burt Rutan,” an after-hours event Friday, Oct. 18, at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library.
Rutan, now a Coeur d’Alene resident, will also be featured in an exhibit of material related to his work in the Parkside Gallery Cases prior to program in the Community Room on the lower level of the library, 702 E. Front Ave.
The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. – after the close of regular library hours – and wine and beer will be available for purchase. The event is open to the public for a suggested $10 donation with proceeds benefiting the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation.
“We are proud to be able to bring Burt Rutan to the library,” said Ruth Pratt, Foundation Executive Director, “and pleased to introduce this very special individual to even more people in our community.”
Named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Inc. Magazine and described by Newsweek as "the man responsible for more innovations in modern aviation than any living engineer," Rutan designed the legendary Voyager, the first aircraft to circle the world non-stop, without refueling.
He also developed the GM Ultralite, an all-composite 100 MPG show car for General Motors, and the Proteus "affordable U-2" aircraft. His Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer broke the Voyager’s record time, becoming the first non-stop, solo flight around the world.
In 2004 Rutan made international headlines as the designer of SpaceShipOne, the world’s first privately built manned spacecraft to reach space. Financed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, SpaceShipOne won the $10 million Ansari X-Prize, the competition created to spur the development of affordable space tourism.
“Manned space flight is not only for governments to do,” Rutan said. “We proved it can be done by a small company operating with limited resources and a few dozen dedicated employees. The next 25 years will be a wild ride; one that history will note was done for everyone’s benefit.”
Winner of the Presidential Citizen’s Medal, the Charles A. Lindbergh Award, two Collier Trophies and included on Time Magazine’s "100 most influential people in the world," Rutan is the founder of SCALED Composites, an aerospace research company. Based in Mojave, CA, his company has developed and tested a variety of groundbreaking projects, from military aircraft to executive jets, showcasing some of the most innovative and energy-efficient designs ever flown.
Rutan retired on March 31, 2011 and now lives in North Idaho.