With the first flight of its A700 twinjet this summer, Adam Aircraft leapfrogged to the front of the small-jet race, and according to yesterday's online conference with CEO Rick Adam, the company is making steady progress on both its twinjet and the piston A500 design. FAA certification and first customer deliveries of the A500 piston twin are on course for first quarter 2004, with the A700 to follow by the end of the year. Since the A700 design follows so closely on the piston plane, that helps a lot to move the certification process along, Adam said. The A500 program is now finishing up work on serial number 3, which is a fully conforming aircraft. Number 3 has been taxi-tested four times, and its first flight is expected in the next week or so. The company is paying keen attention to owner/pilot concerns and is working very closely with insurers to both pave and smooth the road. President John Knudson reported on the company's training program, which he said will entail a five-day course for new owners at Adam's facilities, with at least 10 to 15 hours of flight time and 15 hours of ground school. Brokers representing the AIG, USAIG, and Global Aerospace insurance companies recently visited the company and flew the airplane, he said, and found no obstacles to offering coverage for the aircraft. Rates will be very dependent on pilot experience, he said. Also, Rick Adam said he has about 50 orders for the A500 from buyers, and another 20 or so from dealers, and expects to fulfill those orders by the end of 2005. The company now is ramping up to deliver about 25 airplanes next year and about 50 in 2005. Current capacity could produce up to 80 or 100 aircraft per year, Adam said. Adam also said he will have news about the A600, a turboprop aircraft, early next year.