Flying aficionados will know that few experiences in life come close to the satisfaction of being the master of your own aircraft and navigating it between your destination choices. But how about being able to do a same in a light aircraft designed as radically as the Blackbird of X-Men fame?
Well, come the summer of 2017 that may soon be a reality when Californian-based private aircraft manufacture Cobalt makes the first deliveries on its stunningly futuristic Co50 Valkyrie airplane. Ultra-sleek and super cool, these sketches of the Valkyrie reveal a personal aircraft that is akin to a supercar concept—except that unlike those concepts that debut in motorshows, this is the actual aircraft. It’s about bringing the pleasure back to aviation, said Cobalt founder David Loury in a conversation with Popular Mechanics. “The ‘cool-effect’ will be preserved when we can,” he said in the same conversation.
To deliver the same sex appeal that fighter jets exude, Loury opted for a canard-style design with a massive single-piece glass canopy offering unparalled views for the five persons the aircraft can accommodate within a luxurious interior that can be finished completely to the tastes and preferences of the Valkyrie’s discerning owners. While the exterior colours of the plane are available in a range of custom finishes, the interior promises to plush, with leather seats hand-stitched by craftsmen who used to ply their craft with luxury fashion house Hermes.
Where it matters, the plane is engineered to make use of a turbocharged single piston rear-mounted propeller engine that puts out 350bhp. Touted as one of the fastest in its class, the Valkyrie will boast a top speed of 260knots or 481km/h and a range of 1,945km, making it more than capable of flying from Singapore to Bangkok in just about three hours.
A plane for the enthusiast, the Valkyrie will be as easy to fly as it is pleasing to the eye.
Helping the pilot manoeuvre the nine-metre long by nine-metre wide aircraft in the air is a full pushrod-bellcrank mechanism and Garmin G3X Touch avionics system. Aesthetics aside, the Valkyrie has also been designed to prioritise safety. The forewing on the fuselage prevents the plane from stalling in mid-air. Onboard parachutes are also available for all passengers for greater peace of mind.
At present, flight testing is underway for the Cobalt Co50 Valkyrie but the company is keeping the details on the plane’s performance under wraps till a later date. That said, the Valkyrie is currently available for pre-order with a base price of US$595,000. With first deliveries scheduled for mid 2017, a $15,000 deposit will be necessary to secure a place on the production line.
For more information, visit Cobalt-aircraft.com.