NBAA Convention News

Spectrum set to unveil S-40 midsize mockup

 - September 24, 2007, 2:42 PM

Spectrum Aeronautical (Booth No. 6761) continues to develop its all-composite S-40 midsize and S-33 light jets at its recently expanded Spanish Fork, Utah factory in anticipation of certification for the S-40 by 2010 and the S-33 thereafter.

Gary Bushouse, director of sales, described the company’s order book as “robust,” but declined to disclose exact sales figures. Spectrum chairman Linden Blue added, “We have sold out far more than we can produce in the first two years. We really have all we want at this point.”

Spectrum is to unveil a conceptual mockup of the stand-up cabin S-40 interior at its booth today.

The company had announced earlier this year that it is juxtaposing the S-40 and S-33 development programs to take advantage of what the company perceived as a more lucrative and less competitive market for all-composite medium business jets. “There isn’t anything in the mid-cabin class,” said Blue. “We think we have a very open field.”

The company claims that the S-40 has half the direct operating costs of a Cessna Citation XLS and, at $6.2 million, noted that it is priced $5 million less. Blue said that the S-40 and S-33 would share many common parts, including flaps and ailerons, and that there was “one major set of tools” that would produce the wings for both aircraft. However, he said the wing tools have yet to be built. He also said that the company is evaluating electrical de-icing systems on the Spectrum’s wings.

Blue said yesterday that employment at the Spanish Fork plant would “probably be” 200 by year’s end and that the company would begin manufacture of the V-tail of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’  Predator B surveillance and attack unmanned aerial vehicle.

Spectrum has signed a “cross-licensing agreement” with General Electric (GE) that covered the company’s proprietary “FibeX” carbon fiber technology developed by subsidiary Rocky Mountain Composites (RMC), Blue said. Both moves are expected to provide the company with unspecified additional capital.

Blue explained that the company has sufficient resources to develop the S-40 through certification but would be seeking additional capital to fund full production of both the S-40 and the S-33. Spectrum president Austin Blue declined to estimate the amount of capital required to fully fund production of both aircraft.

RMC president Gary Simpson said the company also is working with General Atomics, GE and an unspecified commercial customer, but that the company’s primary focus is supporting Spectrum.