Spectrum Aeronautical has completed the first of a series of fuselage manufacturing demonstrators for its all-composite midsize S40 Freedom business jet.

The demonstrator will be used to validate the production process before the first S40 flying prototype is built.

It is a full-scale, one-piece part made of co-cured carbon/polymer material in a proprietary process that joins major structural components "at the molecular level", says the Carlsbad, California-headquartered company.

"The process significantly reduces the need for the adhesive bonding required by many other composite fabrication processes and, being composite, eliminates nearly all secondary fasteners from the fuselage structure. That saves manufacturing time and airframe weight and helps put the company's performance goals to cut fuel consumption by as much as half that of comparably sized metal aircraft," it says.

First flight of the S40 is planned for the middle of next year, leading to US certification around 18 months later.

Spectrum S40
 © Spectrum Aeronautical

Source: Flight International