Thanks to Pacific Flyer, the inimitable aviation newspaper covering all things aviation for the west coast (and sometimes beyond), for tipping me off to Burt Rutan's new online project, www.BurtRutan.com. Seems Mr. Rutan is all set to write his autobiography direct to the Internet, a typically innovative thing for the guy to do.
I'm making my way slowly through some of the material already on the website. What a treasure trove! I just watched Burt's TED talk from 2006. I know TED talks are supposed to be punchy, amusing and insightful but, let's face it, not all of them are. This one is a doozie, however. I have only one quibble. Early on in the talk Burt puts up a list of "movers and shakers of the first 100 years of aviation." Mr Rutan wasn't on it. Well, that's very humble but methinks it's inaccurate. Burt Rutan is probably the most influential aerospace designer of the latter half of the twentieth century. Here's hoping that Elon Musk is the largest influence on aerospace in the first half of the twenty-first century. (Or perhaps Burt Rutan will do for the twenty-first century what he did for the twentieth. I wouldn't count him out yet.)