Forget about one-dimensional helicopters and pretentious jets. Cobalt, a San Francisco-based airplane manufacturing startup, is redefining the way you travel in the air. Last month, the group launched two private aircrafts: the Co50 Valkyrie and the Valkyrie-X. Here’s a closer look at these luxurious vessels.
Bringing Back the Canard
You won’t find a mini-bar or feathery couches inside the canard-style aircraft. Instead, you’ll be treated with a sleek interior and an open 320-view of the sky while ripping through the clouds. Powering the Co50 Valkyrie is a blistering, twin-turbo piston engine that can reach up to 260 knots (approximately 300 mph) with ease. It is currently the fastest private plane in its class; and at those speeds, you’ll clench your teeth, grip the seats and send a reassuring message to your friends, because as mentioned earlier- you’ve never traveled like this before.
For peace of mind, the vessels are equipped with parachutes in case of emergency. To prevent stalling mid-flight, a forewing was incorporated in the final phases of the design. “The [cool effect] will be preserved where we can,” explained David Loury, founder and chief executive officer of Cobalt. “The pleasure has to be brought back to aviation.”
The vessel can travel for 1,050 nautical miles (1,200 miles) on a single trip. That’s more than enough range to hop from one city to another. Inside, you’ll be treated with premium leather seats, hand-stitched by a former Hermes craftsman. Dashboard controls are relatively straightforward with “on and off” style options. Ample legroom and decent storage ensures maximum comfort while traveling to your destination. There’s enough space for golf bags, pricey antiques, large instruments and treasure chests from your latest outdoor expedition.
The transportation pods have the capacity to seat five passengers. Assuming you won’t be navigating the planes (though they are designed for newbie pilots), you can bring along three people with you to share the aerial experience. Businesses and resorts could also use one or a few for taxi services. Other specs of the aircraft include:
- Turbocharged 350HP, retractable, IFR-capable
- Oxygenized non-pressurized
- Customization: Interior and exterior are fully customizable upon request
- Exact dimensions: 30 feet long x 30 feet wide x 10 feet high
Pricing and Ordering Information
The startup is taking pre-orders for both personal planes. The Co50 Valkyrie (the fully certified model) costs $699,000 and requires a down payment of $15,000 to secure fulfillment, which is scheduled for 2017. For the experimental Valkyrie-X, pricing starts at $585,000. A deposit is not required for individuals who are interested in the second model. With an expected delivery period of six months, the latter could be the best option for those who can’t wait to get their hands one of the savvy planes.
“10 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.”