Adam Aircraft Industries is refining the design of its M-309 all-composite piston-twin. The major change is a fuselage stretch to accommodate an airstair door forward of the wing, replacing the overwing gullwing door on the Rutan-designed proof-of-concept aircraft now in flight test.

Changes are being incorporated as Denver, Colorado-based Adam designs the conforming prototype for certification testing. The first of "at least three" certification prototypes is to fly "within the next year", with first deliveries planned in 2003, says president John Knudsen .


The six-seat, pressurised M-309 is powered by two digitally controlled, 260kW (350hp) Teledyne Continental TSIO-550 piston engines mounted in a "push-pull" arrangement which provides centreline thrust. This in-line design is intended to improve safety by eliminating the asymmetric thrust effects of an engine failure in a conventional twin.

Knudsen says Adam expects to move into its new facility at Denver's Centennial Airport in October/November. The company plans to perform final assembly at Centennial using components supplied by outside vendors. The M-309's carbonfibre airframe will be produced using a single-cure, or co-cure, process developed by Rutan's Scaled Composites.

Adam has yet to finalise pricing for the M-309, which has a maximum speed of 250kt (460km/h) and range of 2,780km (1,500nm).

The programme is privately financed by one individual, "and we are prepared for the best and worst cases", Knudsen says.

Source: Flight International