Passion & Savoir-Faire

Revolutionizing flying experience with unprecedented capabilities, unparalleled performance, and unmatched elegance – engineered in Silicon Valley and crafted in the heart of the Golden State. Step into the future with the Valkyrie.


Preliminary Design & Studies

  • The Valkyrie’s concept stems from David Loury’s admiration for certain designs and ideas in both the aviation and the automotive worlds, as well as his motivation to design an accessible and affordable private aircraft influenced by these concepts. David, a graduate of Georgia Tech in Aerospace Engineering, was working for Airbus at the time on much larger aircraft, along with a few other aerospace subcontractors. He aimed to gain relevant experience to fulfill his personal objective without yet wanting to bring the aircraft to the market.

Founded In France

  • In 2008, with a group of friendly business angels based in Paris, France, David founded a company called Cobalt, the predecessor of Centauri. Although, even at the time, the seed funding was deemed too low to undertake anything substantial, he assembled a small team that managed to create a first mockup in about two years. This was achieved by partnering with Eastern European contractors who specialized in wet layup composites, mold making, and insert & features into composite parts.


First Public Appearance

  • The development of a clean-sheet design in aviation, during peacetime, typically takes a decade within an established manufacturer. However, when it comes from a new brand, the feat is even more challenging. New flying vehicles generate excitement, but qualified expectations require time, just like good wines, fine watches, or any other luxury product that relies on mastering a precise craft as the core of its value. Over such an extended period, the balance between building market awareness and patiently working outside of the spotlight is delicate. The decision to showcase the Valkyrie for the first time at the Oshkosh 2010 Tradeshow was made with that in mind. Although the aircraft was still in development, it allowed the company to gauge the market reception, and confirm its direction.

Canadian Type Certification Effort

  • Following this initial unveiling, an offer was extended by some public entities in the Canadian province of Quebec, to establish Research and Development (R&D) as well as subsequent Manufacturing Operations at Bagotville Canadian Air Force Base (CYBG), a CF-18 base renowned for its mission to protect the aluminum production of the Saguenay region. The company relocated to an 18,000 sqft brand new facility there and hired a local team while establishing a network of industrial partners. An application for a Type Certificate was submitted to Transport Canada, leading to multiple technical presentations given to the National Aircraft Certification branch in Ottawa. The oversight brought a wealth of improvements to the detailed design and methods.


Move To, And Final Settlement In, California

  • Few places on the planet, if any, have as much precedent, experience, and subsequent legitimacy in experimental aviation as California—from light aircraft to space launchers or supersonic military jets. A delicate blend of weather, technical excellence, pioneering mindset, and smart collaboration with regulatory bodies is indispensable to open a slight window of success to new ventures. The mission is otherwise too difficult, too dangerous, too capital-intensive. The FAA was brought up to speed on the program upon arrival; brilliant test pilots, DARs, and specialists were gradually added to the team, and successes finally started to materialize.

First Flight

  • The first flight was achieved by the famed pilot Mark “Forger” Stucky, also known as one of the maiden pilots of the Virgin Galactic Space Ship and the originator of many firsts in aviation history. The chase plane was piloted by Mike Melvill, with David Loury in the rear seat. The flight took place on January 10th of that year, at the former B-52 base, Castle Airport, in Atwater, CA (KMER). Although the flight was short, it was long overdue and represented the single indispensable courageous event needed after the extensive Part 23 compliance that the 100+ engineer team had been providing to the Civil Aviations of Europe and Canada at that time.


Settling in Hayward Ca

  • Successfully navigating intricate development processes necessitates patient and qualified capital, coupled with unwavering management and the acquisition of knowledge. Ultimately, we needed a founder backed by a wingman investor embodying a resolute fighter attitude, adding strength to the equation with their determined personality.

    As the company’s shareholder base expanded significantly, with too many shareholders having varying degrees of unfamiliarity with our industry, this scenario emerged as the primary risk factor for the company’s success. Ultimately, it resulted in a significant challenge despite the groundbreaking achievements we had already secured.

    A new, more formidable battle for success loomed on the horizon, demanding wholehearted commitment from investors equipped with both experience and a genuine passion for aviation. Hayward, situated in the Bay Area of San Francisco, emerged as the ideal locale for such a venture—a region where technological marvels are commonplace.


Centauri Is Born

  • Many prospective customers knocked on the door, but it takes more to earn the business of people trusting us with their own lives, especially the first ones. David met Doug, the first real customer who helped re-energize the otherwise single-handed adventure. Like a phoenix rising from its hashes Centauri was born. It wasn’t an overnight expansion; trust takes years. However, steady, constant progress was made by creating more prototypes and further improving the industrialization and reliability of the machine and its processes.


Air Force Pilots & Production Ramp-Up

  • Now that a friendly, stable, and hands-on source of support was available in the person of Doug, gearing up for quality volume production could actually be undertaken again. All the experience and trial & errors amassed by David throughout these hurdles could also be leveraged to seta fast pace of flying with lean spending, a consequence of enhanced accuracy in all operations. This is where a team of elite experimental test pilots, on active duty with the US Marines and Air Force, joined forces to achieve an unmatched level of data gathering, tweaking and perfecting of the machine.

Creation Of A Flight Ops Department

  • Centauri, while iterating its manufacturing operations on a pre-serial batch of aircraft in Hayward, settles in Hollister, CA, to fly test, train, and demo its airplanes going out of Hayward. A VP of Flight Ops is hired, and builds a team and methods to keep the airplanes in the air on a weekly basis. From there, a lot of firsts are accomplished, at a rate that results from the mix of the quality and mindset of the team, and the background work, organization, structure, methods built over all these years, making it seem effortless. Envelope expansion flights, first flights of new machines, first cross-countries, first demo flights—all this happens at a rate that seems to stem from another company. Whereas, it is merely the continuity, consequence, and proof really, of long-term quality work and culture in the first place.


Air Force Pilots & Production Ramp-Up

  • At this stage, the company is still basically bootstrapped, and it has been ongoing for 15 years, without a single pause,with a spotless safety record. The market is, and rightfully so, one of the most demanding of all industries. One does not “revolutionize air travel” just like that; it takes painstaking obsession for details, sweating over perfecting, redoing, retesting the machine down to the tiniest details. Most operating brands that have the trust of pilots have been built over the span of a whole career, and that is the reason why. Qualified Early Adopters are showing up to write their names on the wall of General Aviation’s history and enjoy the most fabulous aircraft on its market. If you are one, we’ll recognize you. Come along.

Elegance in Simplicity: Our Core Design Principle

Centauri’s primary aim is to match the safety standards of leading airlines, even with many owner-pilots lacking professional backgrounds. Our design, shaped by over a century of aviation experience, prioritizes safety details comprehensively. Fully compliant with 14 CFR Part 23 although sold on Experimental Ticket, equipped with TSO’d gear, a TC’d engine, and AGATE-rated prepreg structures, our design surpasses expectations by addressing rare failures seen in recently certified aircraft. Over 15 years, Centauri has refined a globally recognized Valkyrie design, striking a balance between maturity, simplicity, and quality.