Spectrum Aeronautical has clinched a "large" undisclosed order from US management company Jetpool for its S-40 Freedom mid-size business jet and S-33 Independence light jet.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Jetpool is poised this month to start marketing its new regional shared-ownership programme, which will use Eclipse 500s very light jets, Citation CJ1+ light jets and the Spectrum types.

"We plan to acquire the Eclipse 500s and CJ1s on the secondary market, where we will get better value for money on these types than buying new," says Jetpool chief executive Ryan Stone. "We can pick up a well-maintained, two- to three-year-old CJ1 now for about $3.4 million. A new Mustang VLJ, which we did consider early on, will cost around $3 million but it has a smaller cabin, a shorter range and a much longer waiting time."

He adds: "The Spectrum types fit our business model as both the acquisition and operating costs of the S-40 and S-33 are far lower than comparable aircraft," says Stone. Jetpool will sell the aircraft in no smaller than quarter shares, which gives each owner 73 days a year. A quarter share in an Eclipse 500, for example, is priced at $450,000. On top of this, owners pay a $6,000 monthly management fee and an hourly usage rate of $825, including fuel.

"We aim to prove the concept in our home base [Charlotte] and replicate the model in other cities throughout the south-east USA," says Stone. "Our goal is to have 30 aircraft in the fleet in three years."

Meanwhile, Spectrum is planning to fly its first S-40 prototype early next year from its facility at Spanish Fork, Utah. "This aircraft will be as close to the production model as possible without the interior," says Spectrum president Austin Blue.

The $6.2 million S-40, which will compete with aircraft such as the Bombardier Learjet 60XR and Gulfstream G150, is earmarked for certification and first deliveries in 2010. Approval of the $3.65 million S-33 stablemate is set for about 12 months later.

"We have a very stong orderbook for both aircraft," says Blue, "evenly split between fleet and private customers." He adds: "There is no rush to market both aircraft until after the first flight as production is already sold out for several years."

Source: Flight International