Delta Wing Streak 130

Bill Bennett, the hang gliding pioneer who founded Delta Wing Kites and Gliders in 1969, lost his leading designer, Richard Boone, in 1982. Without Boone, the company was hard-pressed to remain in the technological race to sell innovative, high-performance hang gliders. Bennett hired a new chief designer, Robert England, and immediately put him to work designing a new competition hang glider design to replace the aging Phoenix Viper (see NASM collection).

England produced the Streak. It was the most advanced Delta Wing hang glider yet built, but the design embodied nothing new. England borrowed heavily from the Ultralite Products Comet introduced two years earlier. The area covered by the lower wing fabric increased again over previous models, to more than 87 percent. This covering could also be completely removed to ease assembly or to inspect and service the internal structure.

Gift of Bill Bennett.

Physical Description:
White sail with international orange panels; bird symbol on right wing; 29ft. span; aluminum and dacron; with steel cable bracing.

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
Delta Wing Kites and Gliders Incorporated

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
Boeing Aviation Hangar

Type
CRAFT-Aircraft

Dimensions
Wingspan: 8.8 m (29 ft)
Length: 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)
Weights: Empty, 25 kg (55 lb)
Gross, 107 kg (235 lb)

By the mid-1980s, flexible wing hang gliders hardly resembled their standard Rogallo wing ancestors such as the Delta Wing Model 162 (see NASM collection). No longer sharply tapered, the wings of the 1980s hang glider hardly swept back at all along the leading edges. The loose fabric that ballooned up in flight was gone, replaced by drum tight synthetic Dacron stiffened with aluminum battens only a few steps removed from the built-up ribs and spars inside the wings of conventional, powered airplanes.

Bill Bennett, the hang gliding pioneer who founded Delta Wing Kites and Gliders in 1969, lost his leading designer, Richard Boone, in 1982. Without Boone, the company was hard-pressed to remain in the technological race to sell innovative, high-performance hang gliders. Bennett hired a new chief designer, Robert England, and immediately put him to work designing a new competition hang glider design to replace the aging Phoenix Viper (see NASM collection).

England produced the Streak. It was the most advanced Delta Wing hang glider yet built but the design embodied nothing new. England borrowed heavily from the Ultralite Products Comet introduced two years earlier. The area covered by the lower wing fabric increased again over previous models, to more than 87 percent. A pilot could also completely remove this covering to ease assembly or to inspect and service the internal structure.

Use of foam inserts to maintain an effective leading-edge camber marked another feature of the Streak. The aspect ratio of the Streak wing also increased to 133 degrees. Bennett produced three sizes for different pilot weights. The Model 130, 160, and 180 designations referred to the wing surface area in square feet.

The Streak 160 was certified in 1982 and the 130 and 180 the next year. This glider quickly became popular for competition flying when Streak pilots finished first in a number of meets. The large amount of lower wing area under cover, and the shaped leading edge made the Streak one of the fastest hang gliders of its day. Unfortunately, a few pilots altered the Streak's rigging to increase performance even further. This led to several incidents when Streaks tumbled end-over-end in flight.

The Streak was Bennett's last marketable design. It remained popular and in production until 1989, when economic realities hit the hang glider industry hard and forced several manufacturers to consolidate. Delta Wing Kites and Gliders could no longer compete and the company went out of business. The Streak was an excellent glider that pilots continued to fly fifteen years after the glider first appeared. Bill Bennett donated six of the hang gliders made by his company, including a Streak 130, to the National Air and Space Museum in 1984. Nothing is known about the flight history of this particular Streak 130.

Bill Bennett, the hang gliding pioneer who founded Delta Wing Kites and Gliders in 1969, lost his leading designer, Richard Boone, in 1982. Without Boone, the company was hard-pressed to remain in the technological race to sell innovative, high-performance hang gliders. Bennett hired a new chief designer, Robert England, and immediately put him to work designing a new competition hang glider design to replace the aging Phoenix Viper (see NASM collection).

England produced the Streak. It was the most advanced Delta Wing hang glider yet built, but the design embodied nothing new. England borrowed heavily from the Ultralite Products Comet introduced two years earlier. The area covered by the lower wing fabric increased again over previous models, to more than 87 percent. This covering could also be completely removed to ease assembly or to inspect and service the internal structure.

Gift of Bill Bennett.

Physical Description:
White sail with international orange panels; bird symbol on right wing; 29ft. span; aluminum and dacron; with steel cable bracing.

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
Delta Wing Kites and Gliders Incorporated

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
Boeing Aviation Hangar

Type
CRAFT-Aircraft

Dimensions
Wingspan: 8.8 m (29 ft)
Length: 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)
Weights: Empty, 25 kg (55 lb)
Gross, 107 kg (235 lb)

By the mid-1980s, flexible wing hang gliders hardly resembled their standard Rogallo wing ancestors such as the Delta Wing Model 162 (see NASM collection). No longer sharply tapered, the wings of the 1980s hang glider hardly swept back at all along the leading edges. The loose fabric that ballooned up in flight was gone, replaced by drum tight synthetic Dacron stiffened with aluminum battens only a few steps removed from the built-up ribs and spars inside the wings of conventional, powered airplanes.

Bill Bennett, the hang gliding pioneer who founded Delta Wing Kites and Gliders in 1969, lost his leading designer, Richard Boone, in 1982. Without Boone, the company was hard-pressed to remain in the technological race to sell innovative, high-performance hang gliders. Bennett hired a new chief designer, Robert England, and immediately put him to work designing a new competition hang glider design to replace the aging Phoenix Viper (see NASM collection).

England produced the Streak. It was the most advanced Delta Wing hang glider yet built but the design embodied nothing new. England borrowed heavily from the Ultralite Products Comet introduced two years earlier. The area covered by the lower wing fabric increased again over previous models, to more than 87 percent. A pilot could also completely remove this covering to ease assembly or to inspect and service the internal structure.

Use of foam inserts to maintain an effective leading-edge camber marked another feature of the Streak. The aspect ratio of the Streak wing also increased to 133 degrees. Bennett produced three sizes for different pilot weights. The Model 130, 160, and 180 designations referred to the wing surface area in square feet.

The Streak 160 was certified in 1982 and the 130 and 180 the next year. This glider quickly became popular for competition flying when Streak pilots finished first in a number of meets. The large amount of lower wing area under cover, and the shaped leading edge made the Streak one of the fastest hang gliders of its day. Unfortunately, a few pilots altered the Streak's rigging to increase performance even further. This led to several incidents when Streaks tumbled end-over-end in flight.

The Streak was Bennett's last marketable design. It remained popular and in production until 1989, when economic realities hit the hang glider industry hard and forced several manufacturers to consolidate. Delta Wing Kites and Gliders could no longer compete and the company went out of business. The Streak was an excellent glider that pilots continued to fly fifteen years after the glider first appeared. Bill Bennett donated six of the hang gliders made by his company, including a Streak 130, to the National Air and Space Museum in 1984. Nothing is known about the flight history of this particular Streak 130.

ID: A19840716000