The Valkyrie is a successor model to the Millennium and is also made by Bright Star Hang Gliders.
The Valkyrie should enter production later in 2000. Flight testing was scheduled to begin in June.
The key feature of the Valkyrie is the large-surface area flaps that can be retracted so as to reduce wetted area and increase wing loading, which improves inter-thermal glide ratio and speed.
Steve Morris has this to say about the Valkyrie: "After studying the XC soaring performance problem with computer models and numerical optimization we concluded that, aside from fairing the pilot, increasing the wingloading during inter-thermal glide will significantly improve average XC speed. The Ghosbuster already uses variable area flaps, but they are too small to make a significant difference in wing loading. Even though our new design has 36 ft2 of retractable flap, we feel this is the minimum amount of area change needed for a noticeable XC speed improvement."
"If this design performs well, we will build a version with a control frame for prone flying and offer it as a custom built glider for qualified pilots. We are also developing a new super-clean harness to compliment the prone version of this glider so that the maximum L/D will exceed 20:1."
"We will not market any of these products to the general flying public, we will only sell direct to qualified pilots. We are compelled to do this for safety and liability reasons. Any additional information can be obtained from Brian Robbins at our shop: (707) 576-7627."
Specifications of the Valkyrie
Span 12.7 m 42 feet
Area (flaps extended) 13.84 m2 150 ft2
Area (flaps retracted) 10.52 m2 114 ft2
(with cage, harness, wheel, etc..) 45 kg. 100 lbs
Photos of the Valkyrie
Note: These photos are © BrightStar Hang Gliders. Steve Morris warns: "These pictures are of a prototype which is still being built and are not fully representative of the final version!"
photo of prototype with flaps extended
photo of prototype with flaps retracted
in-flight photos of the flaps