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Monday, October 1, 2007

Spectrum Aeronautical Delays Certification of Independence

Saying the company will accelerate the FAA type certification of its new, mid-sized S-40 Freedom aircraft model, Spectrum Aeronautical Chair Linden Blue, announced significant performance improvements to the S-33 Independence Very Light Jet during last week’s NBAA meeting but said focus on the Freedom’s certification would supersede that of the Independence.
“We’ve made the decision to accelerate the Freedom’s development and move its anticipated TC schedule up by about a year,” said Austin Blue, president of the Utah-based company. “To do this requires a shift in priorities, making the Freedom our primary focus for the time being. Prior to this, the company had targeted type certification for the Independence in 2009, followed closely by the Freedom in 2010. In essence, we’re pulling the S-40 up to 2009 so an advanced version of the S-33 can follow shortly after it in 2010, rather than vice-versa.”
Spectrum is enhancing the capabilities of the S-33 Independence through continued design refinement and the application of newly available technologies. The company recently decided to use the Williams International FJ33-4A-19 engine instead of the previously planned FJ33-4A-15. The enhancements give the jet a substantial step up in both thrust and efficiency. The Independence already had the highest thrust to weight ratio of any business jet. Chairman Blue added the -19 incorporates Williams latest technology, so with the additional thrust it has better fuel specifics.
The powerplant upgrade has been joined with other design improvements that allow Spectrum to increase the speed, range and cabin size of the S-33. The cabin size of the Independence will go to a 60-inch maximum diameter from its present 58-inches. It will also have about seven-inches of additional width in the aft section of the cabin. The Independence speed will now increase to over 430 ktas, giving the S-33 the largest cabin, highest speed and longest range of any aircraft in the VLJ category.
Concurrently, the larger S-40 Freedom, providing stand-up cabin with a maximum diameter of about six-feet and speeds up to Mach 0.77. Spectrum is taking full advantage of opportunities in the development of the Freedom, which has been gaining a great deal of momentum over the past year.
Gary Bushouse, Spectrum’s Director of Sales commented that the response to moving the Freedom schedule forward as well as the enhancements to the speed, range and cabin size of the Independence have been met with approval. “The S-33 gains are well worth the wait of a few months in the schedule to obtain, as they further differentiate the Independence as far and away the best in the VLJ class. And, of course, the Freedom S-40 remains in a class all its own with a mid-size cabin and DOCs that are better than some much smaller, slower, VLJs.”
Both the Independence S-33 (eight-place very light jet) and Freedom S-40 (nine-place mid-sized jet, powered by GE Honda HF120 engines) feature the company’s proprietary fibeXTM composite material system. Their light weight, combined with ultra-efficient fanjet engines, result in fuel efficiency and very low emission of green-house gasses.
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