Very Light Jet Segment Getting More Crowded

 - February 7, 2007, 9:16 AM

Start-up Spectrum Aeronautical of Los Angeles today unveiled a nine-seat, $3.65 million all-composite very light jet. The 7,300-pound-mtow Model 33–appropriately powered by a pair of Williams International FJ33 engines–is being billed by company director (and father of the Beech Starship) Linden Blue as a "full-size airplane at half the weight." A Spectrum 33 prototype has been constructed at the company's Utah facility, and first flight is expected "within months." Preliminary specifications for the twinjet include a high-speed cruise of 415 knots, 2,000-nm VFR range, 3,895-pound useful load and 2,000-pound payload. With a height and width of 4 feet 10 inches and length of 18 feet, the Spectrum jet's cabin size is almost identical to that of the $5.4 million Citation CJ2+. However, thanks to the weight savings from the use of advanced composite materials and construction process the Spectrum 33's fuel cost per nautical mile is projected to be 71 cents, about the same as that of the Eclipse 500. FAA certification is scheduled for late 2007/early 2008.