Spectrum S.40 On Track To Fly Late Next Year

 - October 28, 2009, 6:05 AM

Spectrum Aeronautical is preparing to manufacture a second S.40 test fuselage as it continues to refine its processes and manufacturing technology since completing the first demo fuselage in June. According to Spectrum president Austin Blue, “We’re now making minor adjustments to the fuselage design, but the automated tooling we’re using to manufacture the all-composite fuselage is working as intended.” However, there are no “fundamental” changes being made to the S.40 fuselage’s geodesic structure. Instead, he said, “It was just made better.” Meanwhile, Blue is confident that manufacturing the S.40’s all-composite wing is feasible, though he admits there are challenges ahead. “Composite wings historically have been difficult to manufacture, but we believe we have a better way to do it,” he said. After it completes another S.40 test fuselage and manufactures a couple of demonstrator wing sets, Spectrum will build S.40 S/N 0001, a conforming flight-test aircraft. First flight of the midsize GE Honda HF120-powered, $6.795 million twinjet is set for late next year, with FAA type certification and first deliveries planned in 2011.