Looking more like a high-tech fighter than a light plane designed for private use, the Valkyrie from Cobalt aircraft has just been launched. With a canard front wing, sleek aerodynamic shape and a turbocharged 350 hp (260 kW) engine, the new Valkyrie is claimed to be capable of traveling at speeds of up to 260 knots (482 km/h, 300 mph) and has capacity for up to five adults and their luggage.
Produced in two formats, the CO50 is a fully-certified version capable of being flown unrestricted and with an estimated delivery time of mid-2017, whilst the Valkyrie-X is a factory-built experimental-certified aircraft with an estimated production time of 6 months from the date of order.
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A long time in the design and construction phases, the Valkyrie is the brainchild of David Loury, the founder and chief executive officer of Cobalt who has assembled a team of designers, builders, and service people in facilities in San Francisco, California, Paris, France, and Saguenay, Canada in preparation for construction and delivery.
"Ten years ago, I had a vision to disrupt the aviation industry with an innovative private aircraft, that is not only technologically sound and safe, but also design-centric and luxurious," said Loury. "Today, Cobalt is no longer just a prototype. It's a world class aircraft, complete with advanced safety, technology, and modern design features for travel-loving consumers and aviation enthusiasts."
The Valkyrie utilizes a canard design (where there is a small forewing at the front of the aircraft), which is a popular option for various light aircraft, such as the Vertex Hybrid Drone, or other pusher-type aircraft, such as the P.1HH HammerHead, because it adds stability and improves lift, especially in less traditionally-proportioned aircraft.
Sporting a single, rear-facing, piston engine driving a three-blade carbon-fiber pusher propeller, the Valkyrie is claimed to be able to cover more than 1,400 nautical miles (1,600 mi/2,590 km) at 220 knots (253 mph/407 km/h) in economy mode with a pilot and one passenger. This distance decreases as the number of passengers or speed increases, but even fully-loaded and traveling at maximum speed, the Valkyrie is still claimed to be able to travel more than 840 km (520 mi) before refueling.
Also claimed to have the largest, single-piece canopy in the world, the Valkyrie's enormous, forward-tilting glasshouse cabin not only provides access to the leather-appointed interior, it also provides a 320-degree view for the pilot and passengers alike. The exterior is crafted from composites and is available in a range of colors, including dark hues Cobalt says are not normally easily achieved in such materials.
Decked out with a huge array of modern electronic displays on the dashboard, there is also a specific space for an iPad. As for storage, Cobalt states that there is more than ample space for golf clubs, skis, and suitcases. Both models measure 30 ft (9.1 m) long, 30 ft wide and 10 ft (3 m) high.
Standard with retractable landing-gear, the Valkyrie models also come with an optional extra in the form of a rescue parachute. Deployable in case of catastrophic failure or complete loss of aircraft control, the parachute system is designed to lower the entire aircraft and its passengers safely to the ground.
Pre-orders have just been opened, and an experimental Valkyrie-X version can be had for US buyers as early as the middle of 2016 for a US$15,000 deposit now and the remainder of the $595,000 total when the craft is ready for delivery. The ultimate, fully-certified version will be available by the middle of 2017 and set you back around $699,000, before options of course.
The short video below introduces the new Cobalt Valkyrie.