When Louis Bleriot crossed the English
Channel in 1909, the flight shocked the British public
into realizing that their island nation was now accessible
without the watchful eye of the British Navy.
The Valkyrie aircraft series was a pioneering effort
made in Great Britain to get in the race and catch up.
At a time when the only British aircraft flying
was A.V. Roe’s triplane, little-known pioneer, Horatio
Barber began the development of another aircraft of his
The Valkyrie is a canard configuration,
which uses the front control surface as a lifting surface
as well. Despite
its awkward appearance, it was a marked improvement over
the Avro triplane. The original Valkyrie Model A was powered by a 35 hp
in-line Green engine.
The next model, the Model B, used a 50hp Gnome
rotary engine while the Model C used a larger 65hp Green
inline engine. Approximately
11 aircraft were built between March 1910 and May 1911.
In 1912, the Valkyrie was used in training pilots
by the fledgling Royal Flying Corps.
This aircraft was purchased from the
Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island, New York in
It is a replica, which is similar in appearance
to the original but using more modern materials and is
not very exact in detail.
It has a modern engine and airfoil and was built
slightly scaled down to be able to transport it by road
without a special permit, as the original aircraft was
10 feet wide.
Valkyrie was the first documented use of a heavier-than-air
craft to be contracted for freight service.
It carried a box of Osram lamps a few miles for
100 pounds sterling.