By Karen Di Piazza
Adam Aircraft Inc. announced in August that John D. Wolf is its new chairman and CEO, replacing Rick Adam, the company’s founder. Shelly Simi, company spokesperson, said the board of directors had set this plan in motion in February.
Simi said the decision to step down from those positions was Adam’s decision and that he would retain his four seats on the board of directors.
“He has every reason to want success for the company he started nine years ago,” she said. “This change is a reflection on Rick’s confidence in the company, where it’s heading and its new leadership. Everyone knows Rick Adam is an entrepreneur. He’s been successful in aviation and the computer technology industry; it’s common to see entrepreneurs start companies and move on. He decided to pursue other business activities on a full-time basis.”
Simi says Adam invested $26 million into Adam Aircraft, headquartered at Centennial Airport (APA) in Colorado.
In mid-August, the company was currently preparing for its eighth twin-engine piston A500 aircraft delivery, according to Simi.
The composite-made aircraft was certified on May 11, 2005. Simi confirmed that the company has nearly 75 orders for the A500 and more than 300 for the A700.
Wolf, a 39-year aviation veteran, began his career working on missiles and space projects at McDonnell Douglas Astronautics before becoming vice president and general manager of McDonnell Douglas Electronics and then serving as executive VP at McDonnell Aircraft. Wolf moved to senior VP of Douglas Aircraft in 1989 and was responsible for program management of various commercial aircraft and the launch of the MD-95, now the Boeing 717. Wolf later became COO for Fairchild Dornier Corp., in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. There he oversaw the development, launch and manufacturing of various commercial aircraft. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Rolla, Wolf holds a BS, MS and doctorate in electrical engineering.
Wolf joined Adam Aircraft in February, as did Duncan Koerbel, president of Adam Aircraft, who has 24 years of experience in certification and manufacturing. The two men are hoping to accelerate Federal Aviation Administration certification of the A700, an all-composite, twin-engine very light jet configured to carry seven people.
“Adam Aircraft is moving toward complete A700 type certification in 2008,” Wolf said.
Wolf plans to continue working to improve the span time, cost and quality of the production process, as well as strengthening the company’s relationships with its suppliers.
“We have an ideal all-composite platform for product line expansion,” he said. “The company’s going to move to high-rate production on the A500, and we’ll be ready to accelerate deliveries of Adam’s substantial backlog of A700s.”
He said a high-rate production program includes providing comprehensive customer support.
Adam’s new “Make Production Fly” program, yet to be publicly announced with full details, is going to boost the company’s production of aircraft, Simi said.
“This is the first step in a process of continuous improvement in the company’s production process,” she said.
Wolf said Adam’s entrepreneurial spirit and vision put Adam Aircraft on the map.
“He was the driving force,” he said. “We’re indebted to his efforts over the past nine years; he grew the company from one employee to more than 700.”
Simi added that the company, which now has additional facilities in Pueblo, Colo., and Ogden, Utah, is in good hands.
“I hope we make Rick proud,” she said.
For more information, visit [http://www.adamaircraft.com].