In The Works: Adam A500

 - January 8, 2008, 11:18 AM

As of the middle of last month, the Adam A500 piston twin had logged more than 110 developmental flight-test hours on some 60 flights. (The M309, the A500 proof-of-concept airplane, flew about 300 hr before being retired.) Said flight-test pilot and lead powerplant engineer Glenn Maben, “This accounts for about 30 percent of the tests we plan to perform on serial number one [the first example built on production tooling]. So far the aircraft has met or exceeded our expectations. We’re very pleased.” The A500 reached an altitude of 25,000 ft and 170 kias and was flown close to its maximum takeoff weight (although the cabin is unfinished). “Single-engine climb figures for the front and rear engine are almost identical and better than we anticipated,” said Maben. The $935,000 A500 is powered by two 350-hp Teledyne Continental TSIO-550Es, while the $1.995 million A700, which shares 80-percent commonality with the piston version, will be powered by two Williams FJ33 turbofans.

The number-two A500 is in final assembly and will probably make its first flight sometime this month. A third aircraft is under construction. The company is targeting certification and customer deliveries beginning in the second quarter of this year. Orders for the A500 stand at 60, according to a company spokesman.