New ICON A5 Amphibious Light Sport Plane
Light sport aircraft manufacturer, ICON Aircraft, introduced their innovative new airplane, the ICON A5, at a private function in Los Angeles on 11 June 2008. The two-seat amphibious plane, which some have dubbed as being a combination jet-ski, sports car and airplane, will certainly appeal to the weekend aviator.
The ICON A5 features retractable landing gear to facilitate flying off both land and water. It also features a number of patent-pending technologies, including folding wings, which allows the airplane to be stored with ease in your backyard or garage, and can quite easily be loaded onto a trailer for transportation.
In addition to the folding wings, other unique features of the ICON A5 include the sports-car like cockpit and patent-pending Seawing platform to ensure easy access and docking on water. The airframe of the Icon A5 is manufactured from high-strength, lightweight carbon fiber and the plane is powered by a 100-hp Rotax 912 ULS reaching an estimated top speed of 120mph and capable of running on either auto or aviation gasoline. The ICON A5 is designed with safety features such as a quick-deploying ICON Complete Airplane Parachute (IACP), Propeller Guard and a Wing Angle of Attack indicator.
The response to the unveiling of the ICON A5 has been very positive. Founder and CEO of Eclipse Aviation, Vern Raburn, expressed his belief that the Light Sport Aircraft category of aircraft, including the ICON A5, signals the beginning of a new era in aviation, one that will introduce potentially hundreds of thousands of new pilots to the world of aviation. Kirby Chambliss, Red Bull Air Race champion and five-time U.S. Aerobatics Champion was quoted as saying: “The ICON A5 is extremely well suited for the sport pilot, but at the same time I think it appeals to the mass market.”
At the unveiling of the ICON A5, ICON Aircraft CEO, former F-16 US Air Force fighter pilot Kirk Hawkins stated that “ICON Aircraft is bringing the freedom, fun and adventure back into aviation by building aircraft that evoke an emotional response like great sports cars do.” The price of the standard amphibious ICON A5 is approximately $139,000 and initial deliveries are expected to take place in late 2010. Weekend aviators who want to be among the first to take to the skies in an ICON A5 should place their orders now. A refundable $5,000 deposit will secure your order.