Valkyrie was designed and built in 1996 by a team of Aerospace, Mechanical, and Electrical engineering students at OSU as a project for MAE 4374 Aerospace Systems Design.  The design goal was to build an extreme endurance aircraft that could set an FAI Endurance record for airplanes in its class.  The record at the time of Valkyrie's construction was approximately 33 hours.  Flight tests including fuel consumption tests demonstrated an endurance capability of the Valkyrie of over 40 hours, and a range of approximately 1200 miles (The Valkyrie could fly direct from Stillwater to the east coast of Virginia).  The actual record attempt was not completed due to logistics at semesters end.

Specification List: 


  • Wingspan:         12 ft
  • Wing Area:        10.5 sq ft
  • Aspect Ratio:     13.7
  • Taper Ratio:       0.75 straight taper
  • Airfoil:                E66
  • Dihedral:             4.5 deg (The Valkyrie had no ailerons, and turned via rudder and yaw-roll coupling due to dihedral)


  • Length:        5.25 ft
  • Diameter:    5.375 in


  • Engine:         4-stroke Saito 0.5 cu in custom modified with new carburetor, and spark ignition
  • Fuel:             5.5 lb of refined Naphtha.
  • Fuel Tank:    159 cu in (2.6 liters) custom PET tank.  Custom made, secondary pressure regulation tank.
  • Propeller:     15x8 wood


  • Wing:                     36 oz
  • Fuselage:               12.8 oz
  • Tailboom:               2.3 oz
  • Control surfaces:    4.5 oz
  • Cowling:                 2.4 oz
  • Fuel tank:               5 oz
  • Dry Weight:        5.5 lb
  • Fuel Weight        5.5 lb


  • Basic wing leveler autopilot
  • Alternator for electrical power


  • Range:                    Over 1200 miles
  • Endurance:              Over 40 hours
  • Fuel consumption:    Tested at 1.62 oz/hr
Team Info: 

The Enduroflight Team was lead by a chief engineer, and was divided into 4 technical groups: Aerodynamics/Stability and Control, Propulsion, Structures, and Systems.

Chief Engineer: David Fowler

Aerodynamics / Stability and Control:

  • Heath Miller (Lead)
  • Brian Hafner


  • Michael Fox (Lead)
  • Bethany Waddell
  • Ching Jeat Chan


  • Tim Cowan (Lead)
  • Brandon Barnes
  • Ken Martin
  • Chen Hwang Tay
  • Soon-Wai Leong


  • Aaron Schwing
  • Jiman Sharyong Oon
  • Ahmad Ovais Chaudhry
  • Jen Yech Chin
  • Yiek-Tiong Too
  • Choon Wah Seow


  • Dan Bierly
  • Paul Reinman

Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Andrew S. Arena, Jr.

Contest Summary: 

The mission for the Valkyrie was to be capable of setting an FAI world endurance record.  The record at the time of the Valkyrie's design was 33 hours, 39 minutes, 15 seconds.  The Valkyrie falls within the FAI's F3A classification for  piston engined, radio controlled aircraft.  Major design constraints for this class are as follows:

  • Maximum gross weight:    11.023 lb
  • Maximum engine displacement: 0.61 cubic inches
  • Maximum planform area:        2325 sq in
  • Maximum wing loading:    24.57 oz/sq ft
  • Minimum wing loading:    3.95 oz/sq ft

Since attempting the record would not have been possible within the semester time frame due to logistical concerns, the Enduroflight team was required to meet three phases of qualification that demonstrated that they could break the record.

Phase 1:  Night Flight

  • Since the aircraft would have to fly at night for a 40 hour record, the team had to demonstrate this capability. 
  • The Valkyrie demonstrated night flight capability on a moonless night (near midnight) for 30 minutes continuously.  The team used reflective tape on the aircraft combined with ground-based spotlights.  This system worked remarkably well.

Phase II:  Full gross weight takeoff

  • The aircraft had to demonstrate that it could be launched and climb when at the full gross weight of 11.023 lb.
  • The Valkyrie demonstrated this, and although climb was slow, it was not a problem.

Phase III:    Endurance Qualification

  • The aircraft had to demonstrate a fuel burn rate that would achieve the required 40 hour endurance.
  • The Valkyrie did this, and fuel burn was reduced to an impressive 1.62 oz/hr

The following sponsors contributed to the project.  The Enduroflight team greatly appreciates their support, and considers them members of our team.  Without their support, the project would not have been possible.

Steve Douglas
Network America
Rick Bentley
Hydra Services
Doris Cross
Doris' Weight Loss Center
Tower Hobbies

Design, Build, Fly