Burt Rutan’s latest project: The SkiGull

Rutan during the initial hydro testing. Photo by Mike Kincaid.

Legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan’s latest project is the SkiGull, a seaplane that’s currently undergoing initial hydro testing.

Mike Kincaid, a seaplane expert who has written often for General Aviation News and happens to live near Burt’s retirement home in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, reports that the SkiGull “will land very slowly, takeoff quickly, cruise fast, and have an almost forever range. Like all of Burt’s creations, this seaplane will be very unique and could change the way we fly water planes.”

The latest design will also be featured in a new documentary, “Looking Up, Way Up! The Burt Rutan Story.” [Read more…]

Donation moves Wright B Flyer closer to new airplane

WrightBFlyer

MIAMISBURG, Ohio — When Wright “B” Flyer Inc. takes its one-of-a-kind airplane to AirVenture 2015 in July, it will take more than filing a flight plan.

The Wright “B” Flyer, a modern lookalike of the Wright brothers’ first production airplane, has short legs and is tiring to fly. Instead, the nonprofit organization’s volunteers will disassemble the 3,400-pound biplane, carefully load it into a custom trailer and have it hauled overland to Oshkosh, where the same scenario will play out in reverse to put it together and fly it.

Transporting the next-generation Wright “B” Flyer will be a much simpler affair. The organization is designing another one-of-kind flyer, this one designed for easy disassembly and scaled to fit in a standard shipping container that will allow the nonprofit to show and display the airplane worldwide. [Read more…]