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Rutan SkiGull
Burt Rutan has designed and buil the SkiGull, his own light aircraft concept. The SkiGull is a small amphibious aircraft that fits in a single-car garage, after having folded its wings. The plane has a single engine located directly above the cockpit that is itself suspended from the wings in a gondola-like cabin.
The SkiGull has a retractable, flexible ski system. The skis provide five times the shock absorption deflection of a typical land plane, making it possible for the SkiGull to operate in considerably rougher environments than most other seaplanes. This includes the ability to perform water landings on beach waves and ocean crests.
Small wheels protrude from the bottom of the skis, making it possible to land on surfaces such as snow or grass.
According to Rutan, the SkiGull's all-composite structure means he can avoid conventional structural design and fabrication methods. No specific details have been made available yet, he does give a hint: "For now all I can say is that its structure is more like nature than conventional."
"It will be the last time I design and build an airplane, since I want to enjoy this one for myself," said the 72-year-old Rutan.

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