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Cobalt selects aviation suite for Co50

October 9, 2012, 12:38 pm

Cobalt Aircraft Industries recently announced that it selected the Esterline CMC Electronics' SmartDeck avionics suite for the new Co50 five-place, single-engine aircraft.

“The reason we chose SmartDeck can be summed up in one word - simplicity," said David Loury, founder and CEO of Cobalt Aircraft. "We have been working to develop an aircraft that will give owner-pilots better speed, comfort, safety and overall travel capabilities than any other single-engine aircraft currently on the market. The SmartDeck’s design philosophy mirrors our design philosophy for the Co50 - both were created to be easy to use."

Loury added that they took into account that the company's customers are not professional pilots. Although they don’t fly frequently, they need a travel tool they can use when the need arises.

The Co50 aircraft is FADEC-equipped, offering a 350-horsepower TCM Continental TSIOF-559-D2B piston engine with a three-blade propeller. The plane flies at a maximum 250 knots at 25,000 feet, according to company officials.

The SmartDeck aviation suite offers two 12-inch fight and multifunction displays that are seamlessly integrated into the flight control. The system provides a third 6.5-inch display for flight planning, radio management, digital autopilot and audio control. The system as a whole provides situational awareness with TAWS-B, TCAS/TAS, satellite weather, lightning detection and synthetic vision.

Loury said the features really help pilots who are flying in high-traffic or unfamiliar areas. He says the plane, along with the SmartDeck system, is designed to be easy to use, even for low-time pilots. The Co50 prototype is entering the initial stages of its development flight test program.

Cobalt is not the only group acquiring new planes. The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, recently shipped 12 TG-10B gliders to the Civil Air Patrol, allowing them to replace some older gliders and add to its existing fleet of 42 gliders.

“This comes at a great time,” said Mike Murrell, CAP’s national deputy chief of staff for operations. “The transfer gives us the opportunity to both upgrade the glider fleet and enhance the overall program, which - thanks to the efforts of a lot of dedicated glider and cadet program volunteers - just celebrated its most successful year in recent memory.”

The new gliders will help CAP offer more flights for cadet recruiting and retention efforts in the coming year.

Current pilots should consider pilot life insurance as a way to retain their hard-earned funds in the unlikely event of an emergency.

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