Home • Awards


  1. Bachelor of Science Aeronautical Engineering, California Polytechnic University, 1961-1965 (third in graduating class).
  2. Space Technology Institute, California Institute of Technology, 1964.
  3. Marketing and Personnel Management Graduate-Level Courses, Golden Gate College, 1968-1969.
  4. Academic Portion of Aerospace Research Pilots School, Edwards Air Force Base, 1965.
  5. Doctoral of Science, honoris causa, Daniel Webster College, 1987.
  6. Honorary Doctor of Science, California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, 1987.
  7. Doctoral of Humanities, honoris causa, Lewis University, 1988.
  8. Doctoral of Technology, honoris causa, Delft University of Technology, January 1990.
  9. Doctoral of Engineering, honoris causa, University of Illinois, 2006.
  10. Honorary Doctoral Degree, honoris causa, Free University of Brussels (VUB), November 2007.


  1. First Place Milk Drinking, Dinuba Dairy Days, 1956 (12 years old – most milk in 1 minute).
  2. First Place National Student Undergraduate Award, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1965.
  3. United States Air Force Air Medal, United States Air Force, 1970 (rare award for a civilian).
  4. Stan Dzik Design Contribution Trophy, Experimental Aircraft Association, 1972.
  5. Omni Aviation Safety Trophy, 1973.
  6. Outstanding New Design, Experimental Aircraft Association, 1975.
  7. Outstanding New Design, Experimental Aircraft Association, 1976.
  8. Dr. August Raspet Memorial Award, 1976, (outstanding contribution to the advancement of light aircraft design).
  9. Outstanding New Design, Experimental Aircraft Association, 1978.
  10. Special Award, Flying Magazine / Business and Commercial Aviation Magazine, 1978 (for a lifetime involvement in service to and support of general aviation).
  11. Pacesetter Award, Western Plastics Exposition, 1978.
  12. Newsmaker of the Year, Press Club of Antelope Valley, 1980.
  13. Special Achievement Laurels, Aviation Week and Space Technology Magazine, 1981 (for imaginative ideas for light, energy-efficient aircraft design).
  14. Most Important Contribution to Aviation during 1984, Business and Commercial Aviation Magazine, 1984.
  15. Beechcraft Legion of Honor Distinguished Service, 1985.
  16. Person of the Week, ABC World News Tonight, July 18, 1986.
  17. Aircraft Design Certificate of Merit, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, October 1986(for initiative and creativity in the development of the Starship and Voyager aircraft).
  18. Presidential Citizen’s Medal, December 29, 1986, (18th since its inception in 1969 – presented by Ronald Reagan for design/development of the Voyager aircraft).
  19. Gold Medal for Voyager Construction, Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, January 1987.
  20. Grand Medaille de’Aero-Club de France (Grand Medal of the Aero Club of France), January 1987.
  21. Medal of the City of Paris, January 1987.
  22. 1986 Aviation Achievement Award, The Aero Club of Washington, February 1987.
  23. Directors Award, NASA Langley Research Center, February 1987.
  24. Award for Unique and Useful Plastic Product (Voyager Aircraft), Society of Plastics Engineers, May 1987.
  25. Special Achievement Award for the Advancement of Composites for the Voyager Flight, Society of Plastics Industry, May 1987.
  26. W. Randolph Lovelace Award, Society of NASA Flight Surgeons, May 1987.
  27. Distinguished Service Award, Academy of Model Aeronautics, May 1987.
  28. Collier Trophy, National Aeronautic Association and the National Aviation Club, May 1987 (for ingenious design and development of the Voyager and skillful execution of the first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world).
  29. Voyager Award, Aero Club of New England, June 1987.
  30. Golden Plate to America’s Captains of Achievement, American Academy of Achievement, June 1987.
  31. Medal of Outstanding Achievement and Distinguished Leadership in Aerospace Engineering, Experimental Aircraft Association and Milwaukee School of Engineering, August 1987.
  32. Citation of Honor, Daedalians of Edwards Air Force Base, August 1987.
  33. J. H. Doolittle Award, Society of Experimental Test Pilots, September 1987 (for outstanding professional accomplishment in aerospace technology management of engineering).
  34. Jimmy Doolittle Fellow, Aerospace Education Foundation Air Force Association, 1987.
  35. Aviation Man of the Year, Gathering of Eagles, September 1987.
  36. Lindbergh Eagle Award, Charles Lindbergh Fund, San Diego Aerospace Museum, September 1987.
  37. Meritorious Service Award, National Business Aircraft Association, September 1987.
  38. United States Air Force 40th Anniversary Award for Extraordinary Achievement, United States Air Force Association, 1987.
  39. Godfrey L. Cabot Award, Aero Club of New England, 1987.
  40. Christopher Columbus International Communications Medal, The City of Genoa, Italy, October 1987.
  41. Distinguished Achievement Award, International Aerospace Hall of Fame, San Diego, 1987.
  42. Spirit of St. Louis Medal, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, December 1987.
  43. British Gold Medal for Aeronautics, Royal Aeronautical Society, December 1987 (for outstanding practical achievement leading to advancement in aeronautics for his original conception and successful design and development of the Voyager aircraft).
  44. Induction into the Wright Brothers First Flight Society Shrine, December 17, 1987.
  45. Outstanding Engineering Achievement, National Society of Professional Engineers, January 1988.
  46. Engineer of the Year, Design News Magazine, March 1988.
  47. Franklin Medal, Franklin Institute, April 1988.
  48. Distinguished Inventor Award, Intellectual Property Owners, April 1988.
  49. History of Aviation Award, Hawthorne Chamber of Commerce, August 1988.
  50. Meritorious Service Award, Western Reserve Aviation Hall of Fame, September 1988.
  51. International Aerospace Hall of Fame Honoree, September 1988.
  52. Medal of Achievement, Sailing World Magazine, January 1989.
  53. Crystal Eagle Award, Aero Club of Northern California, March 1989.
  54. Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, Secretary of the Air Force, April 1989 (for service on the United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board).
  55. Elected Member of the National Academy of Engineering, October 1989.
  56. Leroy Randle Grumman Medal for Outstanding Scientific Achievement, October 1989.
  57. Star Performer, Professional Pilot Magazine, March 1990.
  58. Structural Dynamics and Materials Award, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, April 1992 (for innovative and outstanding contributions to the advancement of aerospace technologies, including the design, development and testing of light-weight, high performance composite structures and materials).
  59. Lloyd P. Nolen Lifetime Achievement in Aviation Award, Wings Over Houston Airshow Executive Committee, October 1993.
  60. George Lubin Award, Society for the Advancement of Materials and Process Engineering, May 1995.
  61. National Aviation Hall of Fame Honoree, July 1995.
  62. Ray E. Tenoff Award for Most Outstanding Paper, Society for Experimental Test Pilots, 1996.
  63. Freedom of Flight Award, Experimental Aircraft Association, August 1996 (for contributions to EAA and to aviation, especially for his leadership in the design of recreational aircraft — including Voyager — that have had an impact on the international aviation community).
  64. College of Engineering Medallion, The College of Engineering at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, April 1997(in recognition of extraordinary leadership and commitment in support of the Aeronautical Engineering Department).
  65. Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design, October 1997.
  66. Experimental Aircraft Association Homebuilders Hall of Fame, Experimental Aircraft Association, October 1998.
  67. Sir James Martin Memorial Trophy, Martin-Baker Aircraft Company Ltd., 1998.
  68. Aviation Designer of the Year Award, Professional Pilot Magazine, March 1999.
  69. 100 Best of the Century (Proteus Aircraft), Time Magazine, April 1999.
  70. Clarence L. “Kelly” Johnson “Skunk Works” Award, Engineers Council, February 2000 (to honor and perpetuate Kelly Johnson’s qualities, accomplishments, standards and model of excellence to be aspired to by future generations of engineers, pioneering progress of the future).
  71. Lindbergh Award, The Lindbergh Foundation, May 2000 (for a shared vision of a balance between technological advancement and environmental preservation).
  72. J.H. “Jud” Hall Composites Manufacturing Award, Composites Manufacturing Association of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, February 2001 (for his contribution to the composites manufacturing profession through leadership, technical developments, patents and/or educational activities).
  73. Reed Aeronautics Award, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, May 2001 (in recognition of significant contributions and achievements in the field of aeronautical sciences and engineering, as an engineer, designer and builder of aircraft that challenge conventional wisdom, thus opening the door for innovation in aircraft prototyping and stimulation of new ideas and applications to further aerospace endeavors).
  74. Laurel Legend Award and Induction into the Aviation Week and Space Technology Hall of Fame, Aviation Week and Space Technology Magazine, April 2002.
  75. 100 Stars of Aerospace, Aviation Week and Space Technology Magazine, June 2003 (ranked 29th – received award in Paris at Salle Wagram).
  76. Best Of What’s New (SpaceShipOne), Popular Science Magazine, 2003.
  77. Business Leader in Aerospace, Scientific American Magazine, November 2003 (for designing a reusable sub-orbital passenger spacecraft – one of 50 individuals, teams or companies whose accomplishments in research, business or policy making demonstrate outstanding technological leadership during 2002-2003).
  78. Vision to Reality Award, Space Frontier Foundation, 2004.
  79. Composites Hall of Fame Honor, Aerospace Composites Model Development, 2004.
  80. Model Aviation Hall of Fame, Academy of Model Aerodynamics, 2004.
  81. J. H. Doolittle Award, Society of Experimental Test Pilots, September 2004 (for outstanding professional accomplishment in aerospace technology management of engineering – first to receive the Doolittle twice).
  82. Kelly Johnson Award, Society of Flight Test Engineers, September 2004.
  83. Ansari X-Prize, October 4, 2004 (shared with key SpaceShipOne team and Paul Allen – for repeated private manned space flights)
  84. Distinguished Achievement Award, International Aerospace Hall of Fame, San Diego, 2004.
  85. Honorary Texan, State of Texas, October 2004.
  86. The Lindbergh Medal, Charles A and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation, November 2004.
  87. Damiano Colombo Meilano, Coniarioni d’ Arte. 2004.
  88. Industrial Designer Rave Award, Wired Magazine, February 2005.
  89. Peabody Award, 2005 (for Discovery Channel’s two Black Sky documentaries).
  90. Distinguished Fellow of Science, International Academy of Science, 2005.
  91. Current Achievement Award, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, March 2005.
  92. Laurel Legend Award for Innovation/Entrepreneurship, Aviation Week and Space Technology Magazine, March 2005.
  93. Entrepreneur of the Year, Inc. Magazine, 2005.
  94. j Award, 2005 (the most important and prestigious recognition event in aviation – often referred to as “The Academy Awards of Aviation”).
  95. The Explorers Club Medal, March 2005.
  96. Scientist of the Year Award, Achievement Rewards for College Scientists, April 2005.
  97. 100 Most Influential People in the World, Time Magazine, April 2005.
  98. Robert J. Collier Trophy, National Aeronautic Administration, April 2005 (second Collier Trophy awarded to Burt Rutan – two others have multiple Colliers: Glenn Curtis and Kelly Johnson).
  99. Werner von Braun Memorial Trophy, National Space Society, May 2005.
  100. President’s Medal of Excellence, California Polytechnic University, September 2005.
  101. Breakthrough Leadership Award. Popular Mechanics Magazine, October 2006.
  102. Howard Hughes Memorial Award, January 2006 (27th recipient).
  103. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, July 2006 (presented at the White House by Laura Bush).
  104. Walk of Fame Award, Asthma and Allergy Foundation Breath Of Life Ball, 2006.
  105. George Low Award, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, September 2006.
  106. 21st Century of Flight Distinguished Award, San Diego Air and Space Museum Foundation, November 2006.
  107. Engineer of the Year, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2007.
  108. Robert A Heinlein Memorial Award, National Space Society, 2008.
  109. Lifetime Achievement Award, Pasadena Art Center College of Design, 2009.
  110. Stanley Hiller, Jr. Intrepid Pioneer Award, October 2009.
  111. Business Person of the Year, Antelope Valley Press, 2010.
  112. Navigating Change Award, Antelope Valley Board of Trade, 2011.
  113. Tribute to Burt Rutan at EAA AirVenture, Experimental Aircraft Association, 2011.
  114. Lifetime Achievement Award, Flightglobal / Flight International Magazine, 2011.
  115. Daniel Guggenheim Medal, Guggenheim Board of Award, 2011.
  116. Bob Hoover Freedom of Flight Trophy, Living Legends of Aviation, January 2012.
  117. Lifetime Achievement Award, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, March 2012.


  1. Grizzly wide-chord flap suspension system, United States Patent Number 4,614,320.
  2. Variable geometry high lift system incorporated in the Beech Starship, United States Patent Number 4,641,800 (foreign patents also held).
  3. Rutan Model 115 Starship configuration, United States Patent Number Des. 292,393 (foreign patents also held).
  4. United States Provisional Patent Application 60/458,296, filed March 28, 2003.
  5. United States Provisional Patent Application 60/458,697, filed March 28, 2003.
  6. Patent Cooperation Treaty Application PCT/US2004/009694, entitled “Unitized Hybrid Rocket System,” filed March 29, 2004, claiming the benefit of the provisional patent application described in Item 4 above.
  7. Patent Cooperation Treaty Application PCT/US2004/009695, entitled “Winged Spacecraft,” filed March 29, 2004, claiming the benefit of the provisional patent application described in Item 5 above.