Scaled Composites

Aerospace & Defense

Scaled Composites Careers, Pay and Expert Network

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Scaled Composites (often abbreviated as Scaled) is an American aerospace company founded by Burt Rutan and currently owned by Northrop Grumman that is located at the Mojave Spaceport, Mojave, California, United States. Prior to acquisition by Northrop Grumman, the company was founded to develop experimental aircraft, but now focuses on designing and developing concept craft and prototype fabrication processes for aircraft and other vehicles. It is known for unconventional designs, for its use of non-metal, composite materials, and for winning the Ansari X Prize with its experimental spacecraft SpaceShipOne. Scaled Composites was established in 1982 and purchased by the Beech Aircraft Corporation in 1985, as a result of the collaboration on the Starship project. In 1988, Beechs parent company, Raytheon, sold Scaled back to Rutan, who then sold it to Wyman-Gordon. After Wyman-Gordon was acquired by Precision Castparts Corp., Rutan and ten investors re-acquired the company as Scaled Composites, LLC. Northrop Grumman, a major shareholder in the company with a 40% stake, said it would acquire the company outright on July 20, 2007. Both companies said Northrop Grummans acquisition would not affect Scaled Composites' strategy or involve replacing Burt Rutan as senior manager. The acquisition by Northrop Grumman was completed on August 24, 2007. Rutan retired in April 2011. Before forming Scaled Composites, Burt Rutan had designed several aircraft for amateur builders, including the VariEze, often considered one of general aviations most innovative designs.[citation needed] He also designed the Beechcraft Starship, which was, however, a commercial failure. These aircraft were distinctive because of their canard configuration, winglets and pusher propellers.


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