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Mon, Feb 06, 2006

Second and Third Time's A Charm: Spectrum 33 Makes Two More Test Flights

Spectrum Aeronautical’s new Spectrum 33 light twinjet made two more test flights on Thursday, February 2, 2006. Both flights added a little over an hour to the bird's log.

It almost didn't happen... the day began with steady rain, 500 ft ceilings, and a dropping barometer, but an unexpected late afternoon break in the weather allowed Bill Davies, Spectrum’s veteran Chief Test Pilot and Ian Hollingsworth, second-in-command, to complete the hoped-for flights.

The new tests followed improvements and adjustments to some of the aircraft’s systems that were made after its first flight on January 7th. Davies said the 33 felt solid in longitudinal control, and exhibited excellent yaw characteristics during turns.

"We were able to conduct shallow coordinated turns with rudder input alone," he said, "and saw excellent control in all axes." He noted that the Spectrum 33’s takeoff acceleration and climb performance "is well beyond anything I’ve seen in this class of aircraft."

"Takeoff distances for the flights were less than 800 feet," Davies commented, "and touch-down speeds were 85 knots with 15 degrees of flaps."

"Control during flap deployment required only minor changes in trim, and the ability to hold nose-up attitude during landing was excellent." He added that, "the tests are confirming that the 33 is highly stable, docile and easy to fly for single-pilot operations."

Linden Blue, Spectrum Aeronautical’s founder and CEO, said he was pleased with the outcome of the flights. "These results are further confirmation that the Spectrum 33 is capable of performing a wide range of multi-role missions, and will benefit a broad segment of the market."

The Spectrum 33 is a new light business jet that’s built using carbon-graphite construction that gives it virtually the same size cabin as popular eight to nine seat light business jets, at less than two-thirds the weight. It’s designed to cruise at FL450 at speeds up to 415 knots [477 mph] and fly as far as 2000 nautical miles while using about half the fuel of comparably sized current production aircraft.

FAA Type Certification of the Spectrum 33 is slated for 2007 or 2008.



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