||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2008)|
Dick Rutan standing next to the engine of the XCOR EZ-Rocket
July 1, 1938 |
Loma Linda, California
|Alma mater||Reedley Junior College|
|Spouse(s)||Geri Rutan (divorced)
|Children||Jill Rutan Hoffman, Holly Rutan|
|Parent(s)||George and Irene Goforth Rutan|
“Killer” (USAF)KB6LQS (FCC)
Richard Glenn "Dick" Rutan (born July 1, 1938) is a record-breaking aviator who piloted the Voyager aircraft around the world non-stop with co-pilot Jeana Yeager. He was born in Loma Linda, California, where he gained an interest in flight at a young age. He is the older brother of aerospace designer Burt Rutan.
He soon began a military career, joining the Air Force Aviation Cadet Program at age 19 and later becoming a lieutenant in the Air Force. Rutan served during the Vietnam War as one of the founding members of the “Mistys” of Operation Commando Sabre, the 1st time pioneering use of tactical jets as a “FastFAC” (Fast Forward Air Controller) for the FAC(A), Forward Air Controller (Airborne), mission, searching for and marking targets with “Willie Petes” (White Phosphorus rockets) ahead of the strike package, and flew 325 missions, but he had to eject when his “Hun” (North American F-100D Super Sabre) aircraft was hit. He had to eject a second time in his Air Force career when his aircraft suffered an engine failure over England. Through his career, he was awarded the Silver Star, five Distinguished Flying Crosses, 16 Air Medals, and a Purple Heart.
Campaign for congress
In 1992 Rutan ran as a conservative Republican against Democratic congressman George Brown, Jr. in California's 42nd congressional district; comprised mostly by the San Bernardino region of southern California and viewed as a swing district. In the Republican primary, Rutan upset San Bernardino County Supervisor Rob Hammock, who had run a strong race against Brown in 1990. In the general election, Rutan ran on a platform that called for reforming congress and lowering taxes. Brown, first elected in 1962, was long known for surviving close elections and prevailed once more with 79,780 votes (50.7%) to Rutan's 69,251 (44%). Fritz Ward, a Libertarian, received 8,424 votes or 5.3% of the vote.
Besides the records Rutan set while flying Voyager (which consisted of multiple distance records, a speed record and being the first plane to fly non-stop around the world), he has also set a number in his personal LongEze, including:
- FAI class C1b distance over a closed course of 7,725.3 km at Mojave on December 15, 1979.
- FAI class C1b distance of 7,344.56 km from Anchorage, Alaska to Grand Turk Island on June 5, 1981.
Awards and honors
- Silver Star
- Distinguished Flying Cross, 5 times
- Air Medal, 16 times
- Purple Heart
- 1981 - Louis Bleriot Award - distance record
- 1986 - Presidential Citizens Medal from President Reagan
- 1986 - Collier Trophy
- 1986 - De la Vaulx Medal
- 1987 - Collier Trophy
- 1987 - Louis Bleriot Award - around-the-world flight
- 1988 - Edward Longstreth Medal of the Franklin Institute
- 2002 - National Aviation Hall of Fame inductee
- 2005 - Louis Bleriot Award - longest point-to-point rocket plane flight (XCOR EZ-Rocket)
- 2013 - Flying magazine ranked him (along with Jeana Yeager) No. 33 on their list of the 51 Heroes of Aviation.
- Jill Rutan Hoffman - Home
- Newman, Rick; Shepperd, Don; McCain, John (2006). Bury Us Upside Down: The Misty Pilots and the Secret Battle for the Ho Chi Minh Trail (1. ed.). New York: Presidio Press/Ballantine Books. ISBN 9780345465375. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- 92 PRESIDENTIAL and CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION STATISTICS
- "FAI Record ID #8389 - Distance" Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Retrieved: 14 September 2014.
- "FAI Record ID #10908 - Speed around the world, non-stop and non-refuelled" Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Retrieved: 14 September 2014.
- "FAI Record ID #13910 - Distance" Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Retrieved: 14 September 2014.
- "FAI Record ID #1898 - Distance over a closed course" Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Retrieved: 14 September 2014.
- FAI database[dead link]
- "FAI Record ID #1899 - Distance, Anchorage - Grand Turk" Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Retrieved: 14 September 2014.
- FAI records database[dead link]
- "Franklin Laureate Database - Edward Longstreth Medal 1988 Laureates". Franklin Institute. Retrieved November 21, 2011.[dead link]
- Works by or about Dick Rutan in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Remarks on Presenting Presidential Citizens Medals to the Designer and Crew of the Voyager in Los Angeles, California - December 29, 1986