Spectrum Aeronautical says it has sold a combination of its S-33 Independence and S-40 Freedom composite twinjets to Chicago-based jet charter start-up Starfish Aviation.

Spectrum president Austin Blue will not comment on the number of aircraft in the sale, but says the total value of the contract is in the "nine-digit range". Given the $6.2 million price tag for the seven-passenger S-40 mid-size jet and $3.65 million for the six-passenger S-33 very light jet, it is likely that Starfish has several dozen aircraft on order.

Spectrum 33 in flight W445 
 © Spectrum Aeronautical

The deal follows North Carolina-based Jetpool's "large" order in February for both jets. Blue says the orderbook is divided evenly between fleet and private customers, and that production is already sold out for several years.

Blue says the company is making "good progress" on the S-40, the first of the two aircraft expected to be certificated and delivered next year. "We're doing the pick and shovel work developing the tools and detailed design," he says. "We're on track to hit weight and performance goals."

Powered by GE Honda HF120 turbofan engines, the Freedom is designed to have a 1.8m (5.9ft) stand-up-cabin and a maximum speed of 440kt (815km/h), a range of 4,170km (2,250nm) and maximum cruising altitude of 45,000ft. Blue says there's a "reasonable chance" the company will certificate the S-40 next year.

"We're confident in the fundamental technologies," says Blue. "It's now an issue of testing and certification to get into production." Spectrum plans to certificate the S-33 about one year after the S-40.



Source: Flight International