First Flight For Spectrum 33 Light Jet
When Linden Blue, founder and CEO of Spectrum Aeronautical, announced at November's NBAA conference that he had a new light bizjet in the works, it was pretty much a surprise. Now, just about two months later, the company has successfully flown the aircraft. The Spectrum 33 twinjet made its first flight on Saturday, Jan. 7, at Spanish Fork-Springville Airport in Utah. The jet lifted off the 4,500-foot-elevation runway in about 750 feet, the company said, even though it was using greatly reduced takeoff thrust. It was then repositioned to the Provo, Utah, airport, a landing facility with a considerably longer runway. "The acceleration and climb performance of the 33 is remarkable," said Bill Davies, Spectrum's chief of flight test. He said the aircraft performed as expected, but pitch control was "not optimum." Spectrum's engineers will modify the jet to increase pitch control authority at higher speeds, then continue flight testing in about a week. "Provo's longer runway will let us explore handling characteristics beyond what's possible at Spanish Fork," Davies said. The Spectrum 33 is using a next-generation, carbon-graphite construction process that gives it a roomy cabin at light weight, the company said. It's designed to cruise at up to 415 knots and fly as far as 2,000 nautical miles while consuming half the fuel of comparable aircraft. "This [first flight] marks an important point in our development program," said Blue. "Weight reduction is key to boosting fuel efficiency and lowering operating costs." The aircraft was built by a Spectrum Aeronautical and Rocky Mountain Composites joint-design team at the Springville-Spanish Fork municipal airport, about eight miles southeast of Provo, Utah. FAA Type Certification of the Spectrum 33 is slated for late 2007 or in 2008.