Burt Rutan, an aeronautical engineer and former USAF engineering test pilot became interested in aircraft which could not be spun or stalled in the mid-1960's. The result of his research was a two-seat delta wing canard with a pusher propeller. The prototype Variviggen which took some 1500 hours to construct was first flown in June 1972. Further development of these ideas lead to a 'Mini-viggen', which in 1974 -76 became the Varieze, the most popular of Rutan's designs.
The aircraft illustrated below (c/n AACA/254) belonged to Mr Des Whitfield of Rotorua. Construction of New Zealand's first Variviggen began in 1976, and was completed in the mid 1980's. The aircraft was photographed at the Sport Aircraft Association flyin (Sportavex98) at Matamata in January 1998. Unfortunately this aircraft was lost with its owner in a fatal accident near Lake Rotoiti in August, 1998. Several other aircraft of this type are under construction in New Zealand, but none are now flying.
Last Update:- 22 November, 1998
© 1998 Phillip Treweek, all rights reserved