Rutan…did things no one else thought of doing or believed possible, and in ways that no one else had tried. He had a knack for succeeding where others failed. The sheer variety of his creations was unprecedented. Some designers return again and again to certain trademark formulas; Rutan seemed always to start afresh. Ambition, energy, showmanship and ability converged in him to produce a career, and a man, such as we are not likely to see soon again.
—Peter Garrison, Flying Magazine, “What Rutan Did”
Burt Rutan’s extraordinary 45-year body of work reads like science fiction and encompasses 45 flown designs, including Voyager, the first aircraft to circle the globe without refueling. Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen recognized Rutan’s genius and financed his suborbital SpaceShipOne, putting the world’s first commercial astronauts into space and winning the $10 million Ansari X-Prize. Visionary entrepreneur Richard Branson is taking Rutan’s concept to the next level and building the Virgin Galactic spaceline. A record five of Rutan’s craft are on display in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.
Though he retired from the aerospace industry in 2011, today Burt Rutan is in the process of starting over. He’s back—creating yet another groundbreaking aircraft with the potential to push the boundaries of what’s possible—in his garage. Follow Rutan as he designs, builds, tests and flies this extraordinary new creation, and unveils it to the world.
Thomas Edison. Henry Ford. Steve Jobs. Each gave the average citizen access to technologies that had been reserved for the few. Paralleling the paths of these remarkable men, Burt Rutan is at the forefront of democratizing personal flight and space travel. LOOKING UP, WAY UP! THE BURT RUTAN STORY explores the life and career of the complex figure behind the simple innovations that have expanded the boundaries of aviation.