Just noticed this from the Scaled Composites website:



Allen Sponsors Scaled Composites’ Cutting-Edge X-Prize Entry, Attends Today’s

Successful Test Flight of the First Manned Privately Funded Supersonic Aircraft

MOJAVE, CA and SEATTLE – Dec. 17, 2003 –

Investor Paul G. Allen today confirmed

international speculation that he is the long-rumored sponsor behind the innovative

SpaceShipOne project, which broke the sound barrier today during its first manned test

flight. SpaceShipOne and its White Knight turbojet launch aircraft represent the first private

non-government effort to demonstrate a low-cost manned space effort. SpaceShipOne is a

contender for the coveted X-prize.

"Being able to watch today’s successful test flight in person was really an overwhelming and

awe-inspiring experience. I’m so proud to be able to support the work of Burt Rutan and his

pioneering team at Scaled Composites," said Paul G. Allen, who has funded the effort since

he and Rutan joined forces in March of 2001. "As we celebrate the centennial of flight, it’s

wonderful to be able to capture the spirit of innovation and exploration in aviation.

SpaceShipOne is a tangible example of continuing humankind’s efforts to travel into space,

and effectively demonstrating that private, non-government resources can make a big

difference in this field of discovery and invention."

This is very cool indeed, SpaceShipOne has just become the first private aircraft to break the sound barrier. Paul Allen is a pretty cool guy, one of his companies Vulcan is also in the process of developing the coolest looking tiny little PC around...oh, he also co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates...