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Adam Aircraft clears certification hurdle with FAA type inspection authorisation for A700

Adam Aircraft has obtained US Federal Aviation Administration type inspection authorisation for its A700 very light jet, an achievement that will allow FAA representatives to begin taking part in flight test activities aimed at certifying the twin-jet next year.

"This event confirms we are on target for achieving FAA certification of the A700 in 2008," says Duncan Koerbel, president of Adam Aircraft. "We have steadily moved from our first flight of the fully conforming A700 this spring into FAA testing by taking advantage of the commonality with the already certified A500 twin-piston, as well as over 900h of development flying with the first two A700 prototypes."

Although Adam certified the propeller-driven A500 in May 2005, the company has delivered seven aircraft in total, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and only one in 2007, a deliberate pause as it upgrades its manufacturing process for both aircraft. Adam's goal is to produce 150-240 A500s and A700s a year by the end of 2009 (mostly A700s) and deliver 1,000 aircraft within seven to 10 years. Target production rate is three aircraft a month for the A500 and 10 A700s a month around 2009. The company raised $200 million in equity and debt earlier this year both to upgrade production and certify the A700.

Achieving production status in a year's time would appear to be optimistic compared to one competitor and conservative with respect to another. Eclipse Aviation earned type inspection authorisation for the Eclipse 500 in December 2005, followed by certification in October 2006 and production approval in May 2007, a total of 17 months. Cessna however achieved production status just 11 months after receiving type inspection authorisation for the Citation Mustang VLJ, the first of which was delivered in November 2006.

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