Boarding the Adam A500 is currently done with one of those three-step ladders, just like the one that I carry around so I can look in the gas tanks and that my wife likes to use boarding our P210. The production airplane will have an airstair door. The door opening is large and the cabin is entered just aft of the cockpit. With no seats, the cabin looks huge and promises to offer luxurious seating for four in a club arrangement.
The flight deck is spacious and, because the fuselage is wide, elderly or portly pilots won't get a cramp in the old tummy trying to wedge in there.
The instrument panel is conventional. The circuit breaker panel is to the left, and many breakers on this airplane are banded because of equipment that isn't installed or operational, such as ice protection and an autopilot.
The instrumentation is conventional. Adam plans to evolve to a glass cockpit, but for now the concentration is on certifying the basic airplane.
The power controls appear to be low on the panel compared with other twins, but the controls come naturally to hand, so the location is fine. The left controls are for the front engine, the right for the rear.
The panel is a little farther forward than most. Somehow a panel farther away is easier to scan than one that is right in your face. This one seems especially spacious because of the generous width of the airplane.
The panel's most wonderful feature, though, is that there is no control wheel jutting out of it, taking space and obstructing the pilot's view of the panel. The Adam A500 is flown with a sidestick, which is being embraced in most of the new-design airplanes and which is a great way to fly.
The Adam is an all-electric airplane with two buses and two batteries. Excellent work has been done in this area, both by the FAA and the manufacturers, and those short-lived old vacuum pumps are just not going to be found on a lot of new-design airplanes.
For engine instrumentation, the A500 has a Vision Microsystems VM 100 engine management system. This was, to me, not a great step forward. The old Cracker Jack box mechanical instruments are easier to interpret, but then I'm used to them and not to the Vision system.
The airplane also has a Vision electronic checklist and caution advisory system that seems to cover everything.
Glenn Maben, one of the best demo pilots I have flown with, briefed me on the airspeeds to be used and offered one bit of advice about the sidestick. When the ailerons are neutral the stick is maybe 20 degrees to the right of being straight up and down. Apparently some pilots have wanted it straight up and down and have thus found the airplane rolling to the left at liftoff.