We love this extensive article about the history of aerospace in Mojave. It mentions all of our favorite people who have passed through this town and includes audio interviews with Dick Rutan and Zach Reeder.
“How do you keep a spaceship simple?” Dan Kreigh rhetorically asks several dozen attendees of “Plane Crazy Saturday,” a monthly event for aviation fans held at the Mojave Air & Space Port (MASP). The group had convened on a sweltering August afternoon in the MASP’s boardroom to discuss aircraft aesthetics, tech and design up close. Continuing with his presentation, Kreigh explains how the question was first posed twenty years ago by his now retired boss Burt Rutan — the maverick designer and founder of Scaled Composites who is known throughout the world for his radically unorthodox aerospace designs along with his signature mutton chop sideburns inspired by none other than the 1970s-era Elvis.
A soft-spoken man with a gentle easy laugh, Kreigh holds up the model of SpaceShipOne (SS1), one of Scaled’s finest achievements. The thirty-year company veteran built the scale model of the much-lauded spacecraft while working as lead structural engineer under Rutan’s tutelage. Rutan hadn’t originally asked Kreigh to build the model of SS1 but Kreigh decided to step up to his challenge. Besides, he wanted to see if Rutan’s inventive proposed re-entry system could work in miniature. So he went ahead with designing and assembling his SS1 model but, for a time, kept it under wraps.