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Spectrum Aero Unveils First S.40 Fuselage

 - June 16, 2009, 11:30 AM

Spectrum Aeronautical sister company Rocky Mountain Composites has completed a test article version of the all-composite S.40 Freedom midsize jet fuselage at its Spanish Fork, Utah manufacturing facility. The fuselage manufacturing demonstrator (FMD) is the first of a series and was built as a single piece using co-cured carbon/polymer material, also known as the company’s FibeX process. The first FMD will be used for manufacturing validation testing before the construction of the first flying prototype S.40. According to a Spectrum spokesman, the FMD weighs approximately 40 percent less than the equivalent-size aluminum fuselage of a Cessna Citation XLS+. Powered by two GE Honda HF120 turbofans, the nine-place S.40 will have a maximum takeoff weight of 9,550 pounds, less than half that of the 20,200-pound XLS+. First flight of the S.40 is planned for late this year or early next year, followed by FAA certification to Part 23 (single-pilot) regulations 12 to 18 months later.