Adam Aircraft announces plans to move forward

The once-defunct planemaker will now be called AAI Acquisition Inc. and is pursuing certification of its A700 very light jet.

Adam Aircraft (Englewood, Colo.) announced on July 31 that it will now be called AAI Acquisition Inc. (AAI), has hired 100 people over the past two months and that its composites-intensive A700 very light jet (VLJ) could be certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) within 18 months. The company also has named Colorado native Jack Braly as CEO. Braly is a former Beech Aircraft executive.

AAI, backed by Russina investors, paid $10 million to buy the struggling Adam Aircraft out of bankruptcy in April 2008 and retained 50 employees. It reportedly now has 150 people working at its Centennial Airport headquarters in Englewood, Colo. Braly added that employment would double by the end of the 2008 and grow to 500 by the end of 2009.

"The first thing we have to do is get this plane certified, and to do that we have to finish the design," Braly said during a conference call. "We're very aggressively looking around the country for engineers."

Adam Aircraft, already producing the A500 single-engine propeller aircraft, was finishing the A700 design last spring when it ran out of money and closed its doors. AAI decided to finish the A700 and pursue certification with the FAA, but will not continue production of the A500. The FAA did agree to let AAI resume A700 testing where Adam left off, rather than having to start over.

Braly worked for Martin Marietta for eight years, then went to Beech Aircraft, where he rose to president in 15 years. He was president of Sino Swearingen Aircraft in San Antonio, Texas, before retiring in 2002 and moving back to the Denver area.