This morning Rutan Aircraft Flying Experience made history by bringing back to the skies a flying Rutan VariViggen!
Lady Vi was donated to RAFE in October 2019 and since then we have diligently worked towards getting her flying. The story we knew was Lady VI was completed and got as far as taxi tests, but never flew. When RAFE received Lady Vishe had no engine, no instruments and no airworthiness certificate. (Read: Lady Vi: A rare find) Thanks to the help of many companies and RAFE Volunteers Lady Vi flew this morning!
The RAFE Team: Flight Test Director Robert Harris, Chase Pilot John Allbritton, Flight Advisor Bob Stevens.
The timing could not be better as this is the 50th anniversary of when Burt Rutan flew his VariViggen to Oshkosh for the first time!
Lady Vi's first flight went well but there are a lot of flight tests left to do and to be honest getting this aircraft in the air has stretched our budget. In order to get the only flying Viggen to Oshkosh for the 50th anniversary of the Viggen we started a GoFundMe in hopes to get enough to help pay for the fuel and other expenses needed. Since as far as we know there are no other flying VariViggens, if we can't make it there will be an anniversary without a VariViggen present to help celebrate it! Your support will go directly to the Rutan Aircraft Flying Experience, the only IRS-certified 501c3 non-profit dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Burt Rutan's homebuilt designs!
Test Pilot Ryszard Zadow takes Lady Vi up for her first fight
We'll be posting more about Lady Vi' and her flight testing so please stay tuned in.
Thank you for the support and see you at OSH!