I Got to Fly an Adam A500 today.

SixPapaCharlie

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I got to fly a truly wild aircraft today. If I understand correctly 7 Adam A500s were made (Or certified) and 3 remain flying today.
This one at Dallas Exec is incredible. Powered by 2 Continental 550s which is a lot but not over the top. However, it puts you back in the seat moreso than any non jet aircraft I have been in.

It eats a crap ton of runway before it wants to take off but one up, it climbs like a rocket.

It is incredibly stable. My Comanche was getting rocked like crazy on the way to see the Adam and this thing not so much. I suspect the extra 3000 lbs is to thank for that.
First Rutan thing I have ever been in and quite interesting. It is VERY tall on the ramp. The pictures don't do it justice. When landing, it is high off the ground. I let the owner take over on final otherwise I would have flared after smashing it into the ground.

It feels very fast but it actually isn't. I felt like we were landing at 200 kts but he said we were doing 105 over the numbers.
We were cruising at 160 but it felt much faster. Not sure what creates the illusion that it is going faster than it is but I really felt like we were screaming over the numbers.

The controls are very heavy. It is responsive but the control forces are pretty heavy. A thumb and index finger won't do it.

It is very loud inside. I took my headset off briefly and I'd say one of the loudest planes I recall being in.

Club seating in the back but one of the forward seats can rotate and face forward if desired. Very roomy and lots of legroom to stretch out.
The pilot seats were a little more cramped. Not bad but like a typical GA plane. Ya can't really man spread up there.

Visibility out front is not great. The window is very slanted and the glareshield comes up pretty high creating a thin field of view over the nose.
Empty weight 5500. Max Gross 7000.

All in all, a really great experience.


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Interesting airplane. So with full fuel those seats in the back are just for show...

Too bad they didn't just make it a pusher turboprop single. Wouldn't a PT6 be about 1/3 the weight of a pair of IO-550s? Probably would have done OK.
 
I remember watching one of those taxiing on one engine for fuel at Petaluma. It was very loud. Easily the loudest piston airplane I've ever heard.
 
Looks like a fab experience! Thanks for posting it.
 
I got to fly a truly wild aircraft today. If I understand correctly 7 Adam A500s were made (Or certified) and 3 remain flying today.
This one at Dallas Exec is incredible. Powered by 2 Continental 550s which is a lot but not over the top. However, it puts you back in the seat moreso than any non jet aircraft I have been in.

It eats a crap ton of runway before it wants to take off but one up, it climbs like a rocket.

It is incredibly stable. My Comanche was getting rocked like crazy on the way to see the Adam and this thing not so much. I suspect the extra 3000 lbs is to thank for that.
First Rutan thing I have ever been in and quite interesting. It is VERY tall on the ramp. The pictures don't do it justice. When landing, it is high off the ground. I let the owner take over on final otherwise I would have flared after smashing it into the ground.

It feels very fast but it actually isn't. I felt like we were landing at 200 kts but he said we were doing 105 over the numbers.
We were cruising at 160 but it felt much faster. Not sure what creates the illusion that it is going faster than it is but I really felt like we were screaming over the numbers.

The controls are very heavy. It is responsive but the control forces are pretty heavy. A thumb and index finger won't do it.

It is very loud inside. I took my headset off briefly and I'd say one of the loudest planes I recall being in.

Club seating in the back but one of the forward seats can rotate and face forward if desired. Very roomy and lots of legroom to stretch out.
The pilot seats were a little more cramped. Not bad but like a typical GA plane. Ya can't really man spread up there.

Visibility out front is not great. The window is very slanted and the glareshield comes up pretty high creating a thin field of view over the nose.
Empty weight 5500. Max Gross 7000.

All in all, a really great experience.


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What comes to mind is I would think there would be some weird torque twisting action going on. Did you experience anything like that?
 
What comes to mind is I would think there would be some weird torque twisting action going on. Did you experience anything like that?
I didn't notice it and I didn't quite understand what the guy was saying but the owner went into great detail about the structure and how it's designed to offset the twisting action so it's something they thought of but he's an engineer and I'm not.
 
Interesting airplane. So with full fuel those seats in the back are just for show...

Too bad they didn't just make it a pusher turboprop single. Wouldn't a PT6 be about 1/3 the weight of a pair of IO-550s? Probably would have done OK.
Pretty much. It holds 200 gallons and burns 32 per hour
 
He did say you could fly around with just the back engine and legally do touch and goes with just the back engine on but he said he hasn't tried it and he's not going to.
 
Also you kind of forget that you're any weird looking plane. It draws a crowd. We flew from Dallas executive over to mesquite We did a couple of touch and goes in on the last one there were probably 15 people watching the plane.
 
A very cool plane. Thank you for sharing.
It's crazy how fancy it is, but it performs similarly (UL and TAS) to a Cessna 210T, which has half the power. What am I missing?
 
Very cool writeup! It's like a Rutan Cessna 337 lol. I'd have to imagine being strapped between two fuselage-mounted 550s is pretty deafening. Now you need to find a Starship owner to buy a flight with!
 
Very cool writeup! It's like a Rutan Cessna 337 lol. I'd have to imagine being strapped between two fuselage-mounted 550s is pretty deafening. Now you need to find a Starship owner to buy a flight with!

One of the few flying Starships is based in the DFW area as I recall, so he’s in a good position for that.
 
I always thought that was a really cool plane. Then again, so is anything Rutan touched. Awesome that you got to fly one Bryan!
 
A very cool plane. Thank you for sharing.
It's crazy how fancy it is, but it performs similarly (UL and TAS) to a Cessna 210T, which has half the power. What am I missing?
Funny thing. I was at KMCC last summer and I got a tour of a PC12. It performs similar to a King Air C90 but with half the fuel burn. I must be missing something too.

On that comparison, the lack of need to accommodate an engine on each wing means cleaner airflow, smaller wings and less drag, all translating to increased load capacity vs. available power.

Getting back to the Adam, I get it, maybe they were striving for the same thing. Great idea in principle, not really that great in execution. If it were, there would be more of them.
 
Yeah I think it was based out of Addison. He may have had a spare parts Starship as well.

At some point the people who owned flying Starships tried to buy up others for parts before Beechcraft scrapped them.
 
Interesting airplane. So with full fuel those seats in the back are just for show...

Too bad they didn't just make it a pusher turboprop single. Wouldn't a PT6 be about 1/3 the weight of a pair of IO-550s? Probably would have done OK.

There was also an Adam A700 jet version. Only two prototypes were built.1682522200.jpeg
 
Very cool writeup! It's like a Rutan Cessna 337 lol. I'd have to imagine being strapped between two fuselage-mounted 550s is pretty deafening. Now you need to find a Starship owner to buy a flight with!
The guy I flew with to look at this is good friends with the owner of 2 starships in Addison Texas. Maybe an opportunity there
 
Another interesting fact, before you take off you throttle up the back engine to 30 in of manifold pressure before you throttle up the front engine. They're so loud if you throttle them up the both at the same time you wouldn't be able to hear if the back engine was having an issue. So once the back engine is up and running he let off the brakes and then throttle up the front engine.
 
Wow super cool. My company made all those illuminated cockpit panels. That weirdly shaped, colorful CB panel was a b**** to make. Still have all the drawings...
 
Great experience for you!

Serial number 0008 sat at Bayview-Skagit (KBVS), Mt. Vernon, WA for a year or more. The photo was taken in August 2016. I laughed when I saw the doors sealed with the same metal foil tape I had on my trucks sunroof.
A500.BVS.01.2048.jpg
FAA records show the tailnumber has been deregistered and is on hold--I think.
I find the four-digit serial number highly optimistic :)
 
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A very cool plane. Thank you for sharing.
It's crazy how fancy it is, but it performs similarly (UL and TAS) to a Cessna 210T, which has half the power. What am I missing?

Keep in mind that the 210 has a much smaller cabin. You end up finding similar as you go into the smaller cabin class twins in general, that you get more space but you don't necessarily get more speed or the useful load to maximize its use. For example if I compared the 310 to the 414, they had similar speeds (although the 310 having 520s helped with that), generally the 414 had a bit longer block time because you had to climb up to the low flight levels to get that speed, roughly 50% more fuel burn, and your useful load wasn't all that much different. I think you could get close to 200 out of a T210 (or P210) if you pushed it hard enough.

It's part of why cabin class planes tend to be better of with turbines. You generally need more horsepower to use them fully.
 
Another interesting fact, before you take off you throttle up the back engine to 30 in of manifold pressure before you throttle up the front engine.
The Cessna Skymaster was the same way. Seems there were incidents where the pilot would start the front engine for taxying, then forget to start the rear engine before starting the takeoff roll.
 
Cool plane. They were flying those out of my home drome for a while. Tough economic times, and the composites were just too heavy to make it work. But cool design.
 
Also you kind of forget that you're any weird looking plane. It draws a crowd. We flew from Dallas executive over to mesquite We did a couple of touch and goes in on the last one there were probably 15 people watching the plane.
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Very cool-looking plane and it's absolutely awesome that you got to fly it! Thanks for sharing the pictures as I was curious about what the interior and avionics looked like. I took this picture of it when it was sitting on the West Ramp of KLEX back in May... and it definitely got a lot of attention while it was here.
 
... I took this picture of it when it was sitting on the West Ramp of KLEX back in May... and it definitely got a lot of attention while it was here.
Just noticed that the plane I saw is *not* the same as the OP flew! I was certain the N-numbers matched, but now I see that they differ by 1 ... guess I'm just not good with numbers!
 
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