New Materials And New Processes
At the heart of Spectrum process is a composite material and fabrication process called fibeX. Rocky Mountain Composites (RMC), of Spanish Fork, Utah, has been developing the material for 15 years and all Jones will say is that it combines the attributes of hand lay-up with those of pre-impregnated materials and cancels most of their drawbacks. The result, according to Spectrum, has greater strength per pound than any material used for the main structure of any other airplane. "fibeX is a very remarkable material and it's taken an enormous amount of expertise to develop it," Jones said. Spectrum Aeronautical liked it so much they bought RMC (51 percent of it) and the development of the aircraft is very much a partnership between the two. fibeX involves a blending of material and process that's ideally suited to aircraft production, Jones said. The fuselage and wings are each molded as a single piece and, once production ramps up, that should make the building process very efficient. The rest of the airplane is mainly off-the-shelf technology that is common in aircraft of this type. Development of the aircraft is being financed from "several sources" that Jones declined to specify.