It’s really not debatable: aircraft builder Cobalt’s Valkyrie is freakin’ gorgeous, and supposedly the appeal inside the cockpit will match the plane’s outer appearance. Beyond its looks, Cobalt claims their creation will have amazing performance, all at a price of around $700,000.
Cruising at 220 knots for almost 1500 nautical miles while sipping yes 15 gallons of gas per hour, yes please. If you are really in a hurry, the CO50 Valkyrie as the aircraft is named, will do 240 knots for just over 1,000 nautical miles while burning 22 gallons an hour.
This is one slippery bird.
Other features on this canard equipped rocket include an aircraft parachute system, interiors by ex-Hermes craftsman, a glass instrument panel that has been condensed down to essential features with an iPad holder included, sidestick flight controls, a huge F-16-like canopy with 320 degree view, seating for five and their baggage, an anti-ice system, and a turbocharged 350 horsepower Continental engine.
Because the engine is located far to the rear of the aircraft, it feels like a jet, with quieter operation and less vibration. Additionally, because of its a canard design, the canard will stall before the wing, making it a fairly forgivable when it comes to basic flying qualities.
Cobalt looks to deliver its first Valkyrie CO50 in 2017. But if we’ve learned anything in modern aviation history, delivering a new exotic aircraft, or any aircraft for that matter, to the marketplace and survive to make a profit is a very challenging proposition. Still, for the pilot that can afford a Cirrus SR22T, the Valkyrie could offer an even more exiting alternative for nearly the same price, with performance that falls between the SR22T and the Cirrus Vision SF50 jet.
Currently the fastest single piston engine production plane is the Mooney Acclaim Type S at 242 knots, but with a proposed top speed of 260 knots, the Valkyrie stands to shatter that record. Just doing this with a certified airplane will bring the Valkrie to the leading edge of general aviation consciousness.
The San Francisco-based Cobalt has been working on the Valkyrie for almost a decade, being based in France and then Canada during the aircraft design evolution. Now they say they will be delivering the experimental kit-built version of the Valkyrie, named the Valkyrie X, in just six months, with the certified version coming within a couple of years.
Supposedly five Valkyrie prototypes are already in flight testing, so who knows, maybe Cobalt can beat the odds and deliver a game-changing product to the ever challenging light aircraft marketplace.
If anything else, Cobalt designed a gorgeous flying machine that really does seem to make a lot of sense. Now we will have to wait and see if the company’s dreams can truly take flight.
Contact the author Tyler@Jalopnik.com