Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Be Defiant! The Rutan Twin-Engine Aviation Oddity That keeps Turning Heads Wherever It Lands

By Carmelo Turdo
Be Defiant! That seems to be the message behind the unusual looks of this Burt Rutan design. The Defiant takes the classic Rutan swept-wing canard shape and adds two more seats and an engine in the nose, resulting in a bloated version of its famous Long-EZ cousin. The Defiant continues its contrary ways by having the rudder placed beside the retractable nose wheel, although several variants included here feature rudders attached to the vertical stabilizers on the wingtips. As with all experimental aircraft, the builder has discretion over the engines, avionics and cabin interior installed, and each Defiant has its own unique character.   

The first example below was on the apron today at Creve Coeur Airport, and the second was also there in August, 2018. The first Defiant features the usual underbelly rudder installation, while the second has wingtip rudders.

Over the last seven years, The Aero Experience has reported on the AirVenture Cup Race and EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013-2019. Several Defiants were flown in for those events, including these examples:

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