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Burt Rutan Steps Down as President of Scaled Composites

Burt Rutan
Burt Rutan

June 5, 2008 — Burt Rutan has stepped down as president of Scaled Composites, LLC, the company announced Wednesday. Rutan, SpaceShipOne inventor, EAA Lifetime Member, and a pioneer of the homebuilt aircraft movement, gave up his day-to-day responsibilities at Scaled, the company he founded in 1982. Rutan will remain at the company as chief technology officer and chairman emeritus, while Doug Shane, the companyís vice president, takes over as Scaledís president.

"I suggested this change to our organizational structure because I want to focus on developing our talented, innovative team and ensuring we continue to provide our customers the creative technical approaches that only Scaled offers," Rutan said. "I am successfully recovering from about eight months of significant heart health challenges, and with this move look forward to many more years of fun here at Scaled."

Rutan had open-heart surgery in February for constrictive pericarditis, a condition in which the sac covering the heart is inflamed.

Rutan will attend EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008 where he's scheduled to appear at Theater in the Woods Tuesday evening with Virgin Galacticís Will Whitehorn for a special program on the next phase of commercial space travel with WhiteKnight II and SpaceShipTwo. He's also scheduled to present, "What's Happening With Burt Rutan," mid-day Tuesday, July 29, (11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.) at the Honda Aircraft Pavilion (7).

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