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Anybody know what's happening with Rutan's Skigull?  Since it started flight testing three years ago I can only imagine they found some massive problems that are either taking a long time to fix or aren't worth fixing.  I'd be interested to know which

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He's still working on it and he'll be at Oshkosh in 2 weeks planning to talk a bit about it.  Maybe he's saving some information until then.  They did encounter some issues (reworked landing gear wheels for one) which they have corrected and addressed.  

Here's a Facebook post from Burt's wife Tonya back in August 2018:


SkiGull made a historic flight yesterday. It flew a passenger. I'm the first one to plug in a headset and fly backseat. Dick Rutan, aka The Velvet Arm, pushed up the power and away we went. Easy peasy rotation, take-off and climb. Dick let me take the controls at altitude. We circled over Hayden Lake, always maintaining safe glide cone to airport.

He let me fly with EDS (Electronic Directional Stability system) ON and EDS OFF. What a difference. Its like good kitty and s**tty kitty. Good kitty purrs along; eagerly accepts trim; and optimizes the pilot's experience. S**tty kitty wants to claw the stuffing out of all of the furniture. Actually, SkiGull has satisfactory stability with EDS off, but really excellent handling when on. Brent Regan, designer of the EDS electronics and software, did a phenomenal job that worked perfect on its first flight.

Back seat has a wide field of visibility left & right and lots of leg room for long appendages. My pile of cushions (carefully arranged by Mike Satren) were comfortable; engine noise quiet; and our intercom loud and clear. I was almost asleep as Dick put the airplane through its paces, gathering test data.

We returned to airport after a one-hour flight. You can clearly hear the landing gear thump down, which is good because you can't see them, and you can't feel much added drag. Dick made a smooth, no flaps landing — he didn't even try to scare me. It was such a great flight that I forgot to kiss the ground. I kissed my husband instead. 😊


Jon Matcho :busy:
Canard Zone Developer & Builder
Rebuilding Quickie Tri-Q200 N479E
Building Cozy Mark IV+ (widened rear)

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