Spectrum S-33 Independence

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S-33 Independence
Role Very light jet
National origin United States
Manufacturer Spectrum Aeronautical
First flight 2006
Status 2012: in development
Number built 1

The Spectrum S-33 Independence is a new very light jet designed and built by Spectrum Aeronautical using a carbon fiber construction process that makes the airplane weigh about two thirds as much as a comparably sized aluminum-frame airplane.[1]

The aircraft is designed to cruise at 45,000 ft. at speeds up to 415 knots (Mach 0.72) and fly as far as 2000 nm (3700 km) while using about half the fuel of comparably sized aluminum-framed business aircraft. FAA and JAA Type Certifications of the S-33 Independence were expected to be completed in 2009, but were not. The company has provided no press releases to explain the long delay in gaining certification.

The aircraft is reported to be able to accommodate 5–6 passenger seats, a full-sized private lavatory, and will have a maximum take-off weight of 7,300 lb., with a range of over 2,000 miles.

The retail sales price of the aircraft, which is equipped with Williams FJ-33 engines is supposed to be US-$3.95 million. The aircraft is to be released about 12 months after the bigger S-40 "Freedom". In May 2011 Spectrum president Austin Blue is quoted: "We are still trying to get the programmes advancing, but it is not easy".[2]


The only completed S-33, registration N322LA, crashed in a test flight July 25, 2006 in Spanish Fork, Utah, killing the two test pilots aboard, Glenn Maben and Nathan Forrest. The aircraft rolled right immediately after takeoff, reaching a 90 degree angle before the wingtip struck the ground. The preliminary NTSB report revealed that the control linkage had been connected backwards during maintenance after the previous flight, resulting in opposite control output (a left roll input on the control stick resulting in the aircraft rolling right).[3]


Data from {name of first source}

General characteristics

  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Capacity: 6-9 passengers
  • Length: 45 ft 11 in (13.99 m)
  • Wingspan: 43 ft 3 in (13.2 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 8 in (3.3 m)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 7,500 lb (3,402 kg)
  • Interior Height: 5 ft 0 in (1.47 m)
  • Interior Width: 5 ft 0 in (1.47 m)
  • Interior Length (total): 18 ft (5.49 m)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Williams FJ33-4A-19[4] turbofan engines, 1,750 lbf (6.68 kN) each


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Trautvetter, Chad (24 October 2006). "Spectrum Aeronautical unveils the newest entry to VLJ market". AINonline. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Sarsfield, Kate (10 May 2011). "EBACE: New aircraft in the works". Flightglobal. London: Flight International. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Accident Report (Report). NTSB. SEA06FA146. Retrieved 15 August 2006. 
  4. ^ "Spectrum Aeronautical Enhances Performance of its Independence S-33 and Accelerates its Mid-size Freedom S-40 Certification Schedule" (Press release). Carlsbad, CA: Spectrum Aeronautical. 10 August 2007. Archived from the original on 31 May 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 

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