October 6, 2008
When AAI Acquisitions bought the assets of Adam Aircraft at fire sale prices in March, the industry wasn't quite sure what to make of the sale. But AAI CEO Jack Braly told NBAA reporters this week that the company is "picking up where Adam left off" with certification of the unique twin-boom jet claimed for the third quarter of 2010, with deliveries shortly thereafter. About half of the airplane's 1,300-hour flight test program has been flown off, and test work is continuing. As for funding, Braly told reporters it's in place from a consortium of Russian investors. He estimates AAI will need $200 million to certify the airplane and procure a production certificate. When asked if all the money is available, Braly said, "If you're asking if the investors gave us a sack of gold as big as the program, the answer is no."
Along with the A700 jet, test equipment and some production jigging, AAI Acquisitions also inherited the already certified A500 piston twin, of which about five were built. But it won't be part of the new program. "This was never tooled up for production, and the market for piston twins is dead for now," Braly said. As for the A700, Braly says he's not ready to put a price on it -- or take orders, for that matter -- but it will be competitive, probably in the sub-$3 million range.