An update on the Cobalt Co50


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Before heading to Oshkosh, we posted a preview of what to expect from startup company Cobalt, which unveiled a prototype of its Co50 piston pusher canard at Airventure last month.


On the final day of the festival, as vendor began to take down tents all across Wittman Regional Airport, we spoke with a couple representatives of the company.


The prototype that accompanied a press conference given by the company earlier in the week sat at the center of the Cobalt tent. An empty shell at the rear of the aircraft, pictured above, noted in orange tape that a production model would feature in that spot a twin-turbocharged TCM TSIOF-550-D2B with Powerlink FADEC that will crank out 350 HP to a Hartzell 3-blade propeller.


Designers estimate the aircraft can cruise at 245 KTAS at 8,000 feet for a range of more than 1,240 miles.


Cobalt representatives, including a lead engineer of the project, told us that their plan still calls for obtaining FAR 23 certification within the next few months in order for testing to begin by the end of the year.


Assuming all goes well, production could begin by 2012 or so, they said.


A proposed interior for the aircraft includes five-and four-point seat belt harnesses strapped into 18g crash-resistant bucket seats.


Airventure also provided Cobalt staff an opportunity to meet with parts manufacturers and other suppliers, which they said led to talks on avionics equipment and landing gear perhaps to be featured in the Co50.


Also expect the French company to open a United States headquarters in San Francisco. A final assembly site has yet to be determined.