TED BLACK COLLECTION
No. 11475. Rutan 68 (N301LS c/n 1) "Amsoil Racer"
Photographed at the EAA AirVenture Museum, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA, July 29, 2011, by Ted Black.

Rutan 68

007/31/2012. Remarks by Walter van Tilborg: "This all-composite construction racing plane was designed by Burt Rutan on the request of racing pilot Dan Mortensen, who wanted an aircraft to comply with the specifications for racing biplanes. Sponsered by the Amsol Oil Company (AMSOIL) the Rutan Model 68 Biplane Racer was constructed at Sacramento Executive Airport by Mortensen, together with Larry Lombard, Mike Dilley, Mike Arnold and Kit Sodergren; the Sacramento and Roseville chapters of the EAA also stepped in.

The aircraft had a configuration very similar to that of the Rutan-designed Quickie, but had larger overall dimensions, a more powerful engine, a T-tail (first of any Rutan design) and wings with entirely new airfoil. The aircraft first flew on August 4, 1981 and initial tests took place without the inter plane struts between canards and wings. When these were added the aircraft qualified as a biplane class racer.

It gained two National and two World speed records, but was destroyed on September 17, 1983, in a Pylon Air Race during the Reno National Air Races at Stead Airport, Nevada. In an attempt to avoid a collision at about 200 mph, the aircraft stalled and with only 35 feet of altitude it crashed hard. The engine and wings were violently ripped off, fortunately the cockpit portion remained intact, and Dan Mortensen escaped injuries.

The aircraft went to the National Air Race Museum and was restored for static display, later it hung above a bar in the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada for several years. Eventually it was transferred to the EAA museum."

Created July 31, 2012