Posted on August 26th, 2010
Spectrum Aeronautical has slowed development of the lightweight high-performance S.40 Freedom and S.33 Independence jets due to resource constraints. The company is developing the prototype S.40 at sister firm Rocky Mountain Composites in Spanish Fork, Utah. “We have had to decelerate the programs considerably, due primarily to our desire to pace the program optimally with the resources available,” Spectrum president Austin Blue told AIN yesterday. “This has meant layoffs for those involved in both programs, though we have maintained a team that is actively working on continuing the development. For a while now that focus has been on the core composites technologies, which look excellent.” The prototype S.40 was to fly by the end of this year. “We have attracted significant interest and customers,” said Blue. “We are confident that our combination of the right composites structural approaches, next-generation automated manufacture and the winning designs we have will be successful. We dearly wish that we were able to accelerate their introduction, but for now we are moving ahead the best we can in a difficult environment.” Blue and his father, Linden, a key player in the Beech Starship program, launched Spectrum in November 2005.