This Day in Aviation History
June 30th, 1978
First flight of the Rutan Defiant.

The Rutan Model 40 Defiant is a four-seat, twin-engine aircraft with the engines in a push-pull configuration. It was designed by aerospace engineer Burt Rutan for the Rutan Aircraft Factory.

The prototype Defiant, N78RA, was first flown on 30 June 1978. It had been intended as a proof-of-concept of a very safe light twin design, requiring little trim change and no pilot action in case of engine failure, and with good single engine performance. A comparison of the Defiant single engine climb rate with a Grumman Cougar had shown about 390 feet (120 m) vs 280 feet (85 m) per minute at low altitude with both aircraft cleaned up.[vague] The prototype is now owned by the Hiller Aviation Museum.

In 1979 the Rutan Aircraft Factory announced they would proceed with certification of a Defiant-based light twin. Adequate financing was not secured for this project, and the design was modified for homebuilt construction as the Model 74, with the second aircraft (built by Fred Keller) appearing at Oshkosh 1983. Plans were offered in mid-1984. 176 sets of plans were purchased before RAF discontinued selling plans in 1985. Nine examples were known to be flying as of mid-1987. Nineteen are registered with the FAA as of 2005…..

Wikipedia, Rutan Defiant:

YouTube, Dick Rutan flies Burt’s Beautiful defiant. (Beethoven 5th):

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