A 10-year dream to build a four-passenger-plus-one canard aircraft that can fly at speeds of 250 to 260 knots at 20,000 feet gets a restart Nov. 12 with a rollout of a production-conforming model and acceptance of pre-orders for the certified model. There are no orders as yet for the single-engine certified model or the planned experimental model of the pusher-prop aircraft powered by a 350-horsepower Continental engine.
The composite aircraft was test flown in Canada for years but operations have moved to the San Francisco area. Cobalt CEO David Loury said he needs $30 million to get the aircraft through certification. A first round of funding took place in 2008. Loury estimated he can deliver the first certified airplane two years after receiving the needed funding.
The price, once $970,000, has dropped. Loury expects to sell “a few dozen” experimental Valkyrie X aircraft at $595,000. Orders can be taken now for the experimental model. For the certified Co50 Valkyrie model, only pre-orders can be taken and the price will be $699,000. Loury said flight testing is now conducted in Merced, California, two-and-a-half hours southeast of San Francisco where production equipment is kept. He also has a hangar in Hayward (southeast across the bay from San Francisco) to get closer to the customer base and to begin training mechanics for a service center. He said the aircraft configuration is frozen and ready for commercialization.
The latest event is to introduce the final configuration and to open pre-orders. He said he has a few aircraft built but only one flying. He calls the aircraft a four-passenger-plus-one because he has not developed the airplane as yet to the point where there can be three adults in the back due to center-of-gravity considerations. He has three prototypes. Loury said speed testing has not been done yet. The aircraft is not pressurized. The experimental model has Garmin G3X avionics. It is yet to be determined what avionics will be in the certified model.
The aircraft uses an onboard BRS airframe parachute and has retractable gear. He said the design is comparable to a Velocity aircraft.