Adam Aircraft

Babson Professor William Bygrave, Case Director

Carl Hedberg and John Hamilton, Case Writers​

Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

© Babson College, 2006.


This case is intended to be positioned towards the end of a course in new ventures and chronicles the evolution of Adam Aircraft, a highly innovative entrepreneurial start-up company that flew in the face of conventional wisdom in the general aviation market. Its founder, Rick Adam, had orchestrated the fabrication of two flying prototypes - the A500 twin piston and the A700 jet - at a speed of design and production that had turned heads in all sectors of the aviation industry. Certification on both models was expected in the coming year - two years ahead of a number of well-funded competitors. With their third product - the A600 twin turboprop - nearly ready to fly, Adam Aircraft had become the one to watch in 2004.

Location of the Company: Englewood, Colorado

Date: 2004

Industry: Designing and manufacturing aircraft for general the general aviation market.

Stage of the Company: Early; prototypes moving towards FAA certification and full-scale manufacturing

Age of entrepreneur: 58

Key Words: Business aircraft, Design engineering, Fabrication & prototype development, FAA regulatory process, Market identification, Product positioning, Marketing to a sophisticated, limited pool of prospects, Building an aircraft company in the middle of a slow economy, Funding Government contracts, Manufacturing partnerships, Strategic partners and alliances, Building a top-flight management team, Financing


There is a 30 minute DVD available for this case. Please place orders through ecch.

Teaching Notes

A 19 page case teaching package, written by William Bygrave, is available for this case. ​