Colorado-based Adam Aircraft, maker of the all-composite A500 twin-engine piston-powered aircraft and the A700 very-light jet (VLJ), last week laid off 300 of its 800 employees as it focuses on retooling its processes before ramping up production of the A500 this summer. The company is seeking as much as $ 100 million in additional financing, largely to pay for its "Make Production Fly" programme. Company president Duncan Koerbel says enough money remains to complete the certification of the A700 this year.
"We have got to get the production process right," says Koerbel. "What we won´t do is build 100 aircraft and then have to rework them," he adds, taking a jab at Eclipse Aviation, which is currently making avionics and airframe modifications to its delivered fleet.
Adam currently has a backlog of about 400 aircraft representing some $ 1 billion in revenue. The company, which had previously raised more than $ 200 million in equity and debt, will suspend composites operations at its Ogden, Utah facility through early summer and transfer lay-up and bonding operations for the aircraft´s empennage from facilities in Pueblo, Colorado to its home base at Centennial Airport in Englewood, Colorado. After restructuring and A700 certification, Koerbel says Adam will produce three A500s a month and, after ramp-up, 12-15 A700s a month. Despite the pause, Adam will deliver 10 A500s this year, Koerbel adds.