Burt Rutan

Elbert Leander “Burt” Rutan is an aerospace engineer born in Estacada, Oregon, famous for designing light, strong, unusual-looking, energy-efficient aircraft. He is father of the Voyager, the first plane ever to fly around the world without stopping or refueling, and the sub-orbital spaceplane SpaceShipOne, which became the first privately funded spacecraft to enter the realm of space twice within a two-week period. He has five aircraft on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.: SpaceShipOne, the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, Voyager, Quickie, and the VariEze. Burt has called the Boomerang his favorite airplane and it lives now in San Luis Obispo, where engineer and entrepreneur Tres Clements makes sure the plane keeps functioning well and takes it to several shows every year. Burt is a true innovator and has inspired people around the world to think outside the traditional structures when it comes to design. Burt has shown a commitment to inspire the younger generations to create and revolutionize their world, in a similar way than he was able to do. His TED talk is proof of this commitment.

Read the full transcript here. You can learn more about Burt on his personal website, burtrutan.com.