Revolutionary Sport Plane Debuts at Air Venture

The Oshkosh AirVenture 2008 has already been running for a few weeks now, yet it seems it’s not yet too late for a few new things. Icon Aircraft recently unveiled their new ICON A5 sport plane at the aviation event in Wisconsin, much to the praise of the public and media.

ICON Aircraft has been making start-up Light Sport Aircraft for a while now and it seems that they’ve got back to basics with their latest creation, the ICON A5. The small, amphibious aircraft features two-seats and retractable landing gear, which makes is possible to take off on land and water. Folding wings make it easy to tow or store the aircraft – especially if it’s being moved from one destination to another. All these consumer-friendly features have gone a long way to gaining the new aircraft some noteworthy attention. According to ICON Aircraft Founder and CEO Kirk Hawkins, the company has been trying to help aviation enthusiasts rediscover the fun, freedom and adventure that early aviation pioneers loved. As part of that vision, the company is bringing “sport and passion back to flying through a vehicle that delivers that experience in a way no other vehicle can”.

So apart from water-tight features and a cozy cabin, what else can fans find in the new aircraft? The ICON A5 is powered by a reliable 100 hp Rotax 912 ULS engine that will not only propel the aircraft at an estimated top speed of 120 mph, but can be fueled by both auto and aviation gasoline. The body is modeled on a lightweight carbon fiber airframe, which no doubt helps with the fact that the aircraft has a fuel efficiency of up to 20 mpg. A propeller guard, angle of attack indicator and quick-deploying ICAP are just some of the safety features that have been carefully styled into the great look. A Seawings platform makes for easy access and docking on water while the cock-pit is more suited to causal pilots with user-friendly features such as an MP3 music port and a cockpit styled after the interiors of a car. The new features will certainly help the ICON A5 to appeal to people of all ages, which was one of the main goals of the project. The full-scale test prototype that was unveiled just days ago completed its first flight on July 9. Deliveries are scheduled to start in late 2010 and orders are already being placed for this great little aircraft.