The Skigull is also a motorglider. It has to be if Rutan, who lost
his medical in 1998, is going to fly it. An FAA friend told him that he
needed longer wings if he wanted it to qualify as a motorglider. The
definition indicates the maximum weight-to-wing-span-squared must not
exceed three kilograms per square meter. So Rutan created a 43-foot
wingspan that can be folded for docking, while still on the water, or
for storage in a garage. The design may be sold as a kit, “…if it
works,” Rutan told a meeting of The Old Bold Pilots in California in
A video of that talk can be seen on YouTube.
His explanation of the Skigull starts at minute 38. You’ll notice the
camera moves around the screen so as not to show the design, per Rutan’s
wishes. It was posted by The Old Bold Pilots on Feb. 1. You can see more of the group’s videos here.
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