Adam Aircraft’s $2.25 million A700 very light jet took a step closer to FAA certification on Friday when the agency issued Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) for the Williams FJ33-powered airplane. The TIA allows the A700 program to enter the phase where FAA representatives are authorized to begin flight testing the twinjet for certification credit. FAA certification is planned for the second half of next year.
Adam Aircraft of Englewood, Colo., told AIN that certification of the $2.1 million A700 business jet has moved to the right, from December this year to “early next year.” The company attributes the slippage to a delay in certification of the A500 centerline-thrust piston twin, from which the A700 twinjet is derived.
Customer feedback has prompted Adam Aircraft to redesign the cabin of its A700 very light jet to incorporate a combination of luxury automobile features with those found on larger business jets. The company partnered with Infusion Design to create a cabin that is lighter, more open and more stylish than the original.
Williams International launched the 3,500-pound-thrust FJ44-4, a FADEC-equipped turbofan engine that uses essentially the same core as the 3,000-pound-thrust FJ44-3. Detailed performance parameters are being kept under tight wraps until an application for the new engine is announced. A spokesman for Williams International, based in Walled Lake, Mich., said at the show the company is just now beginning to market the engine to potential OEMs.
Business aircraft cabin specialist Infusion Design has long preferred a low profile. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Kansas City-based firm is happily stepping out of the shadow of anonymity, most recently with designs for Spectrum’s Freedom S-40 and Adam Aircraft’s A700 mockups, as well as concept designs for Aerion’s supersonic business jet proposal.
Adam Aircraft has chosen Colorado-based SaferJett to provide training for its aircraft programs. The 10-year agreement, announced at NBAA in Atlanta in September, taps SaferJett for pilot and maintenance training for the A500 centerline-thrust
piston twin and the new A700 VLJ twin. The curriculum will incorporate elements of the FAA/Industry Training Standards (FITS) program, which is designed to enhance general aviation safety.
Adam Aircraft Industries reported the closing of a “significant investment” by GS Capital Partners 2000, a private equity fund managed by the prestigious Goldman Sachs–where Adam CEO Rick Adam was formerly a general partner.
A few aviation entrepreneurs have imprinted their name in the industry not only because they have provided a great product or service, but also because their foresight, innovation and personality have been a driving force behind it. George “Rick” Adam Jr. appears to be destined for that list.
As the business aviation industry awakens from its three-year slumber, start-up and established manufacturers hope that their aircraft now in the works, as well as those that recently received certification, will take sales revenue to new heights. While this list of new aircraft includes many derivatives, more than half of the proposed aircraft are actually clean-sheet designs.
With new management and the goal of transforming itself from a development company to a lean production aircraft company, Adam Aircraft put a key foundation block in place this week at the NBAA Convention when it signed a 10-year agreement with SaferJett to provide training for the A700 VLJ and A500 centerline-thrust pressurized piston twin.