Advanced Engineering 2018

Adam Aircraft Industries on Final Approach for First Flight

07 June 2002

Manufacturing efforts are approaching an important milestone at Adam Aircraft as they advance toward the final stages of production of the first A500(TM) aircraft.

The Denver-based aircraft manufacturer is within weeks of finishing the first of four test aircraft built to their centerline thrust, twin-engine design. With the carbon composite airframe fabricated, flight controls and electric wiring installed, and engine mounts ready, aircraft technicians are shifting their focus toward mounting the Continental twin-turbocharged 550 engines and trailing link landing gear, as well as installing flight instruments and flight test instrumentation.

At the helm of the drive toward completion of Serial No. 0001 is Crew Chief John Oakley, who was instrumental in the construction, flight-testing, and maintenance of the A500 proof-of-concept model built by Scaled Composites in Mojave, California. Oakley is responsible for ensuring the airworthiness of the first aircraft and preparing it for its first flight. Aviation enthusiasts will have a chance to see the A500 as it makes its public debut in July at AirVenture3/4EAA's general aviation showcase in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The first flight of the A500 culminates the realization of a goal set in 1998 by company co-founders Rick Adam and John Knudsen. Determined to deliver a twin-engine aircraft with a combination of leading-edge technology, reliability, comfort, and safety, CEO Adam and President Knudsen are poised to reach their target with unprecedented speed. ""When I arrived here 18 months ago,"" recounts Oakley, ""there were no walls in this facility. This is the fastest paced project for a production aircraft that I've ever seen."" Meeting the challenges of maintaining a high standard of quality within the time constraints of an aggressive schedule can lead to frustration, but Oakley says, ""Seeing so much progress in such a short time is a source of great pride for all of us.""

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