We investigate the incentives of private firms to adopt new technologies. Econometric investigation is performed on a pooled sample of individual US airline firms over the period 1971 to 1986 for which extensive information on available jet aircraft technology and fleet choice have been recorded. Given the incidence of successive commercial aircraft innovations and variation in production attributes across firms, we are able to consider a wider array of 'time-dependent' and 'time-independent' adoption influences than in previous firm-level studies. To the extent that our study provides useful general insights into adoption decisions by firms, the results have implications for US global competitiveness policy. One key finding is that firms subject to increased product market competition exhibit a higher propensity to adopt technological innovations.