A new all-composite light jet has been unveiled by Spectrum Aeronautical, a start-up company headed by former Beech chairman Linden Blue. A prototype of the Spectrum 33, powered by two Williams FJ33 turbofans, is nearing completion and will fly soon, the company says.

Encenitas, California-based Spectrum has been developing the aircraft in secret for some time, at an undisclosed location in Utah. Certification is set for 2007-8, but the company is keeping the exact schedule, and details of its financing, under warps for now, says Mark Jones, vice-president business development and programme manager.

The Spectrum 33 is in the Cessna Citation CJ2 size class, Jones says, seating a single pilot and six to nine passengers, but offers higher performance on smaller engines because of its lighter composite airframe. Maximum speed is quoted as more than 415kt (765km/h) and range as more than 3,600km (2,000nm) at a 3,310kg (7,300lb) gross weight. This compares with 2,930km for the 5,670kg CJ2+.

The prototype has been built on production tooling, but is no totally confirming, says Jones. The 1,600lb (7kN) thrust-class FJ33-4As have dual-channel full-authority digital engine control, while the website “teaser” launched before the show reveals the cockpit has sidestick controllers and large flat-panel displays with pull-out computer keyboards.

Source: Flight International