Small amphibians are sort of the hot hatchbacks of the aviation world and one aimed at the beginner pilot is always worth a look see. At EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) manufacturer ICON Aircraft debuted its first production A5 amphibious, folding-wing plane for the general public. Built in Tehachapi, California, a second is now under construction for structural testing later this year.
The ICON A5 is designed to be simple to fly with a special flapless wing, spin-resistant airframe, and Angle of Attack (AoA) instrument to prevent stalling. Inside the A5 is an cockpit with an intuitive, distinctly automotive layout marked by a mixture of analog and digital instruments.
Weighing in at 1510 lb (686.4 kg), the two-seater amphibian is equipped with both a carbon composite waterproof hull and optional retractable landing gear. Its 100 bhp Rotax 912 iS petrol engine gives the aircraft a top speed of 105 kts (120 mph, 194 km/h) and a range of 300 nautical miles (345 mi, 555.6 km). The 34 ft (10.36 m) wings are foldable for easy towing, and there’s even an optional complete airplane parachute for the safety conscious.
The aircraft unveiled at Oshkosh carries Engineering Serial Number 1 (ESN-1), rolled off assembly in June and made its first flight in July. According to the company, it’s one of the three aircraft needed to verify performance and complete FAA approval. The first customer delivery is scheduled for May of next year, and ICON says that when its new facilities are complete, it will be able to build 500 planes per year.
In addition to the unveiling, ICON announced that one of its first 100 production A5s will be auctioned off with part of the proceeds going to the Veterans Airlift Command, which uses a network of volunteer aircraft to provide free transportation to post 9/11 combat wounded and their families.
“This is one of the most significant milestones to date for ICON. It represents the culmination of years of research, design, engineering, and manufacturing dedication by an outstanding team,” says ICON Aircraft Founder and CEO Kirk Hawkins. “The A5 is no longer a prototype or concept aircraft; it’s a sophisticated, production-ready, consumer-focused aircraft. The entire ICON team is pouring its heart and soul into bringing the A5 to our customers, and it shows in the truly exceptional execution of the product. I couldn’t be prouder.”
The estimated price of the ICON A5 is US$189,000.
The video below details the first production ICON A5.
Source: ICON Aircraft
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning