The RP-1 was partly funded by NASA and was the first aircraft in Rensselaer's Composite Aircraft Program.
The aircraft is of mixed construction, made from composites, Kevlar and PVC foam. Its 37.5 ft (11.4 m) span wing employs a Wortmann FX-63-137 airfoil. The aircraft weighs just 116 lb (53 kg) and was intended to be foot-launched. The landing gear consists of a main skid and dual tail skids. The aircraft achieved a 20:1 glide ratio. Only one was completed.