Scaled Composites of Mojave, Calif., announced Nov. 3 that the company’s founder and chief technical officer, Burt Rutan, will retire in April. Following his retirement, Rutan will assume the title of founder and chairman emeritus, Scaled said in a press release.
Since its founding in 1982, Scaled Composites built a host of record-breaking aircraft, including SpaceShipOne, the piloted suborbital spacecraft that won the $10 million Ansari X Prize in 2004. The company currently is building Virgin Galactic’s fleet of passenger-carrying SpaceShipTwo vehicles, which are now in flight testing.
Scaled Composites is owned by Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman Corp., which increased its stake in the company to 100 percent from 40 percent in 2007.