From Rutan Quickie - Wikipedia: Rutan was then involved with the design; Sheehan and Jewett suggesting a scaled-down Vari-Eze. After a preliminary pusher canard configuration design (Rutan Model 49) had been discarded, his solution to the design issues of low drag without retractable undercarriage and a workable center of gravity travel, was a tractor engine/tandem wing layout. Conversely to canard layout, the conventional front engine location put the pilot close to the center of gravity, a key point for a light aircraft. The wheels were incorporated into wingtip fairings without much drag penalty and the tandem layout gave safe stalling characteristics. Rutan produced the first drawings in May 1977 and thereafter the three of them worked on the design drawings over the next two months with construction beginning in August. After the first flights, Rutan spent more time with his Defiant design and other projects, and it was Jewett and Sheehan who continued development of the design and market it for home-build use. An agreement was reached that Rutan would fund the development and testing and once the design was complete they would pay Rutan back from future sales of the designs and kits.