Innovation, Burt Rutan and EAA’s Airventure: “We bought the engines on ebay”

20MB Quicktime Video

SpaceshipOne/White Knight, making it’s way east to the Smithsonian, flew during Saturday’s EAA Airventure Air Show. I captured a 20MB video clip of several passes along with SpaceshipOne’s landing. You’ll hear designer Burt Rutan address the crowd during the aircraft’s flight, using “Military Power”. Enjoy! Rutan also mentioned that the aircraft would make one more stop at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio before reaching it’s final destination; the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. the video is a bit jerky at the beginning, but my handheld technique improves after a few seconds 🙂
Earlier this week, Rutan and Richard Branson announced a joint venture to form a new aerospace production company to build a fleet of commercial sub-orbital spaceships and launch aircraft.

I’ll post more photos and videos over the next few days. John Robb has been pushing for the government to support, in a big way, competitive private space initiatives ala the X-Prize rather than spending $3.2B annually on 1970’s technology – the shuttle. Robb also mentions how “big buck programs are a source of power in the Pentagon“. Robb has more ideas on the Government’s role in all of this and makes a rather startling but true statement:

Unfortunately, it is only a matter of time (short) before the shuttle program is done in due to a failure (hopefully, not on this mission’s recovery). After that happens, this is all we have.

More Videos: Marine AV8-B Harrier VSTOL | B-17 Takeoff. My father took a number of photos earlier this week.

More photos here (click to view larger versions):