BEWARE ! Everything on this page is FAKE!

Using existing pictures of Rutan-designed aircraft, I have imagined my own variations... This is only for visual fun, and doesn't mean any of these birds could actually fly if built... Can you find which actual aircraft these fakes were made from? (answers at bottom of page). You can submit your own fake Rutans (doctored photos, drawings, photographed models, etc.). All you have to do is incorporate elements from other Rutan designs or projects and send your submissions to: The best contributions will be published on this page. Good luck, and have fun!

The Scaled Model 402 Knightliner is a regional airliner developed from the White Knight Two design. Accomodating 24 passengers, it features a unique main gear system retracting into a swiveling unit underneath the fuselage.

The Northrop Grumman B-3A Raider is the U.S. Air Force's latest bomber and results from a series of designs initiated in the 1990s by Northrop with some help by Burt Rutan. Scaled Composites built and flight-tested the two YB-3A prototypes.

The Northrop Grumman EG-9A Albatross is a manned derivative of the Global Hawk used for high-altitude surveillance and electronic countermeasure missions. Airframe modification and electronics integration was performed by Scaled Composites.

The USAF wanted to test Rutan's ability to develop a successful operational jet canard design and asked him to update the old Curtiss XP-55 design, providing him with the original fuselage and other parts. The result was a twin-intake, single-engine design, called the Model 103 Ascend-EZ (YF-55A). The whereabouts of this long secret aircraft are unknown, though it is rumored to have crashed in the so-called "Area 51".

From the experience gained on the Ascend-EZ, Rutan then built the Scaled Model 103 Ascender 2 prototype for the Air Force, but they soon lost interest.

Before Burt Rutan came up with the final design for his Model 247 (the Visionaire VA-10 Vantage) he envisaged several designs for a economical single-jet business jet. One of these led to a 60% scale flying demonstrator, the Model 236 Vision. The use of an H-tail proved unsatisfactory, and the final design returned to a more conventional tail configuration.

The Model 145 Blue Nile was the manned sub-scaled version of the Teledyne Ryan Model 324 Scarab serving as a proof-of-concept vehicle, the way Scaled Composites has done on numerous other occasions.

The Model 75 Train-EZ was a company-financed, alternate proposal for the NGT (Next Generation Trainer) program, featuring a T-tail instead of an H-tail, winglets and canards. It crashed on its second flight.

Combining the fuselage of a Bede BD-5J with the wings and empennage of the Scaled Model 151 ARES, the two companies teamed up to submit an original contender for the USAF's JPATS competition.

The Scaled Composites F/A-44A Banshee (affectionately known as the "Pond Fighter" inhouse) is used by the U.S. Marines in numbers as assault fighters. Banshees typically attack ships or subs in "swarms" of 20 aircraft, using the cannons installed in the propellers and an array of small-sized ordnance. The "Banshee" name refers to the unique screeching sound of its two engines.

The original V-Jet II was designed in answer to a Williams International contract for a small biz jet built around their brand new FJ44 turbofan. The design eventually made it as a small military liaison aircraft, the Model 285 Guardjet, also known as the YU-31A Swift in USCG service.

By building the Model 202 Boomerang, Burt Rutan proved his point: he could design a perfectly safe and totally asymmetrical design. However, he accepted a private sollicitation to build a triple-fin, twin-engine symmetrical variant. The customer crashed the Model 212 Crossbow the first time he flew it and died in the crash.

Following the successful first flight of the modular Model 281 Proteus, Burt Rutan decided to go one step further into the concept and used a second built airframe for use as a test bed for every possible wing, tail and engine configuration in a high-altitude UAV. This resulted in the strange-looking Platypus, which is even said to have been tested in propeller and float configurations.

The Model 217 Gemini was an attempt by Rutan to offer an alternative platform for the Orbital Sciences Pegasus launcher. Instead of being carried beneath a B-52, the rocket vehicle was fitted with a spare set of Voyager booms and wings. The Gemini would fly to high altitude on jettisonable piston engines, then drop them and start the jet engine. Once in the stratosphere, it would then discard the wing/boom arrangement like a three-stage rocket does.

In parallel with the Model 77 Solitaire, Rutan devised a twin-fuselage version called the Model 82 Deuces. Though the plane handled very well, there was no market for the plane and it was decided to scrap it. The fuselages were stored and rebuilt as Solitaires.

The Northrop Grumman Peregrine airliner was developed from the Teledyne Ryan Model 350 Peregine UAV, once briefly used by the US Air Force as the BQM-145A. The Peregrine airliner is rocket-launched from a ramp.

The USAF was keen on the Rutan Long-EZ design, but the lack of a retractable gear and then untested jet configuration temporarily relegated the design to the UAV role. Finally in 2005 the USAF successfully flight-tested a jet-Berkut with extended fuselage and canards, assigned to the AFFTC and designated the YT-52A. If procured, the new aircraft will replace the aging T-37 and T-38 fleet.

While Burt Rutan designed and built the 85% scale SCAT-1 demonstrator for the Beechcraft Starship, he also came up with an unusual two-wing derivative, the Model 3000 Synergy (Scaled Model 205). Performance was only marginally better than that of the other prototype, and with a 25% increase in weight, it also used a lot more fuel. The Synergy was therefore scrapped little after its first flight and forgotten.

When Rutan was approached by a team of USAF reservists asking him to design a jet car to compete in the first ever Air Force Reserve 'Jet Car Show', he used the basic Teledyne Ryan BQM-145 Peregrine design and fitted it with four wheels. This handsome looking car was called the Roach (a reference to the Scarab design it was evolved from).

The Model 336 (HO-13A Gemini) was specifically developed by Scaled as a high altitude long-range surveillance platform (HALSP) for the Coast Guard. It can fly unrefueled for two days.

In parallel with the V-Jet I (regular tail) and V-Jet II (V-tailed) version of the Model 271 Spike, Rutan also designed a V-Jet III variant (Model 283) with T-tail and front-canards.

Burt Rutan was approached circa 1979 by the British Royal Navy, who were planning on extending the life of a few remaining De Havilland DH.110 Sea Vixens. They thought a canard and winglet configuration might do the trick. A Sea Vixen was shipped to Mojave and modified as ordered to become the Model 108 VariVixen. Flight tests did not prove satisfactory, however, and the whole project was scrapped.


In parallel with the DC-X Delta Clipper and the DC-XA Delta Clipper Graham, a third vehicle called the DC-XB Delta Clipper Hudson was considered. This used a DC-X frame with a Rotary Rocket Roton propeller and engine. Of course Gary Hudson had worked on both projects, hence the nickname attached to that special version. The original DC-X was once again modified but it never flew, as the whole Delta Clipper project was scrapped by McDonnell Douglas.

The cancelled DC-XB Delta Clipper Hudson was meant as a proof of concept vehicle for the DC-Z Delta Roton spacecraft. Like the Rotary Rocket Roton ATV, which Hudson went on to develop, it took off like a helicopter before switching to rocket mode.



  • Blue Nile is a cleaned-up Teledyne Ryan 324 'Scarab' with enlarged tail unit, Long-EZ canopy and front-wheel.
  • Deuces is simply a twin fuselage version of the Model 77 Solitaire'; both front and main wings have been extended.
  • Platypus is the Model 281 'Proteus' fitted with Model 133 SMUT tail, 'V-Jet II' wingtips and 'Grizzly' front surfaces.
  • Train-EZ is the Model 73 NGT modified from H- to T-tail configuration, fitted with the nose of a Long-EZ and winglets.
  • Gemini is the Model 76 'Voyager' whose central section has been replaced by the 'Pegasus' launch rocket.
  • V-Jet III is the Model 281 'V-Jet II' fitted with a custom-made T-tail and the modified front wing of a Model 77 'Solitaire'.
  • Ascender II is a World War II Curtiss XP-55 'Ascender' with redesigned rear fuselage, new inlets, enlarged canards, etc.
  • Jet Berkut 400 is a lengthened Super Berkut 540 with larger canards and the jet propulsion of the EZ-Rocket.
  • Synergy is the Beechcraft 2000 'Starship' with an 80% scale version of itself added to the front and enlarged canards.
  • Delta Clipper Hudson POC is the DC-X 'Delta Clipper' fitted with the top end of the Rotary Rocket 'Roton'.
  • Crossbow is a symmetrical version of the Model 202 'Boomerang' minus the windows and fitted with the 'V-Jet II' nose.
  • DC-Z Delta Roton is the projected DC-Y fitted with the top of the initial design for the Rotary Rocket 'Roton'.
  • Roach is a Teledyne Ryan BQM-145 'Peregrine' fuselage deprived of wings and fitted with wheels and a cockpit.
  • VariVixen is a British 'Sea Vixen' with lengthened, cleaned up wings, lengthened nose, and fitted with winglets and canards.
  • Vision is the Model 247 'Vantage' modified to H-tail configuration, extended wings, and fitted with a Long-EZ canopy.