Dick Rutan remembers his very first aviation adventure vividly. He was six years old when he and his mother went to an old farm field for a true barnstorming ride. Mom Rutan was armed with a fist full of hard-earned dollar bills. The duo climbed into the old plane and Dick begged his mother to allow him to stand so he could see out of the window. The little plane hopped and skipped down an old bumpy dirt road and suddenly was airborne. As Dick saw the earth beneath him, his view of how he wanted to see the world was changed forever.
Later, after an exciting and highly decorated two decade career in the Air Force, Dick continued with more aviation adventures.
In 1986 he flew around the world in the Voyager without stopping and without refueling. During the six years of building the Voyager, there was a lot of “on the spot engineering” as Dick’s brother, Burt, would engineer last minute changes following test flights so the dreams of non-stop world flight could be realized. It wasn’t an easy dream to attain, and many dramatic and life threatening technological issues were presented in flight. Using 1986 technology available for GPS, weather maps, communication, and more, not one minute of the nine day, three minute and 44 second flight could be taken for granted. Many records set in the Voyager remain unchallenged today.
In 1992, Dick flew around the world again, this time with many stops in his Long-EZ. Following that flight, he attempted another world flight in a balloon called The Global Hilton. That flight and project ended in his third life saving parachute jump. In 2002, Dick was on a site seeing tour to the North Pole when the Russian AN2 landed on unseasonably thin ice. The plane nosed in and the crew and passengers were rescued after 14 hours of being stranded at the top of the world. Most recently, Dick is the Chief Test Pilot for the EZ Rocket. The first rocket powered homebuilt. He was also elected to serve on the East Kern Airport District and was instrumental in getting the Mojave Airport recognized as the First Civilian Spaceport.
But the adventures don’t stop there. Dick concludes this Around And Out Of This World presentation with footage of his brother’s SpaceShipOne – the first civilian space flight ever – and the same project that went on to win the $10Million Dollar XPrize.
The Air Force, The Voyager, The LongEZ, The Global Hilton, The North Pole, The EZ Rocket, and SpaceShipOne are just a few of Dick’s adventures. Join this modern day adventurer for video and narration about the Voyager and SpaceShipOne – edge of your seat, exciting adventures your audience won’t soon forget!