Adam Aircraft president and COO Joe Walker is about to appoint a factory direct sales representative to promote sales in Europe and sees this region as having great potential for the A500 piston twin and A700 AdamJet. To encourage potential customers, the company has developed a guaranteed maintenance program for both types, offering cost per hour rates for the first three years (except fuel prices).
With a 358-order backlog for both types, 2008 is the first available year for delivery positions, but meanwhile A500 deliveries have begun with day/IFR certification status, while de-icing trials are to be conducted in the winter of this year. Much of the A500 trials and certification has a direct read-across to the A700, which is expected to achieve type certification in December this year. European certification will follow 12 months later almost simultaneously with first deliveries.
The high degree of commonality between the A500 and A700 will considerably mitigate risk during development of the latter, which has 65-percent commonality with the certified A500. Similarly, the A700 avionics have been proven on the A500 and, with the exception of the engine displays, the instrument panels are identical.
Although Adam Aircraft has not acquired detailed information on Embraer’s VLJ contender, Walker claims the A700 has the largest cabin in this category, seating seven or eight passengers in spacious comfort. Boasting a 42-inch seat pitch throughout the cabin but with 47-inch pitch in the last row, the A700 offers a 240-cu-ft cabin volume compared to the 210 cu ft provided by the Cessna Mustang. But at $2.25 million, the AdamJet also has a valuable price advantage over the $2.6 million Mustang.
Since the last EBACE show, Adam Aircraft has doubled its fleet of test and production aircraft to eight in total, the A700 AdamJet benefiting from the A500’s test results and economy of scale on the production line. While some 65 percent of suppliers are common to both production lines, a high degree of safety is provided by the 26-g certified seats, also common to both aircraft.
The second model of the A700 is the first of three slated for flight tests and differs in some detail from ship No. 001, while the assembly was speeded by the use of some major parts produced for the A500. Window positions on 002 have been changed to allow the pilot to see the right wingtip, while baggage and maintenance doors have been made bigger.
Although Walker agreed that the A500 could be regarded as an inline twin successor to the Cessna 337, he rightly pointed out that the new aircraft is much more powerful than the venerable Skymaster.