OSHKOSH 2009: Adam Aircraft under new ownership

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The former Adam Aircraft A500 piston twin and A700 very light jet are again under new ownership.

Thomas Hsueh, owner of Triton America and Bayfield Edison, confirmed at AirVenture that he purchased the intellectual property and assets of the two aircraft programmes for an undisclosed amount.

A restart of the A700 had been favoured over the A500 during its brief ownership by Russian investors. Hsueh favours restarting the A500, saying the A700 will remain shelved. But he says he is no hurry to revive the piston twin first developed by Adam Aircraft.

"I can concentrate on redesigning," Hsueh says, adding that he plans to make tweaks to increase the payload of the six-seat A500.

Hsueh says his other companies, which build yachts, tooling and wind turbine blades, are already benefiting from the composite technology and tooling of Adam Aircraft.

Hsueh quietly purchased the assets and intellectual property in late April from the Russian team of Industrial Investors and Kaskol, which a year earlier spent $10 million to buy the assets in a bankruptcy auction.

AAI Acquisition's plans to restart A700 production near Denver, Colorado were shelved as the economy slowed. Most staff were laid off in October and AAI Acquisitions was quietly dissolved earlier this year. "One of the conditions the Russians had me agree to is to not to disclose how much I paid for it," Hsueh says.

A court-ordered inventory valued the assets at $27 million. "I dismantled the whole company and packed it into 120 containers on flatbed trucks and shipped the whole thing to Anacortes in Washington state," he adds.

"If I can make it go it will be a good deal. Otherwise I will have a huge garage sale," he jokes, listing "60 refrigerators, probably a couple of 100 microwave ovens, coffeemakers galore," more than 600 computers and an Oracle Systems licence worth $650,000.

To generate interest in a possible relaunch of the A500, members of the A500 Owners Association flew to AirVenture in two A500s. Only seven A500s were delivered by Adam before its bankruptcy, although it had accumulated orders of more than 300 A500s and A700s.