From Eather or Water
Icon Aircraft makes the first flight of the Icon A5, its model for the market of Light Sport Aircrafts and Seaplanes (Light Sport Aircraft, LSA). The Icon A5 has folding wings that allow to put it away easily or to be tugged in land
The Icon A5 made its official presentation official in the market of the Light Sport Aircrafts and Seaplanes (Light Sport Aircraft, LSA), after finishing successfully its first flight of its prototype.
The new aircraft manufacturer celebrated the success of the A5 from land, when it softly landed on sea on top of a lake in California, carrying Jon Krakow in its interior, test pilot and main engineer of Icon, who was very satisfied with the aircraft performance and its flight characteristics during the take-off and landing, as well as its slow speed maneuverability.
Krakow is an expert test pilot that has realized many first flights of unforgettable aircrafts, including the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer, on board which Steve Fossett (r.i.p) would establish a world record of global flight.
The prototype will pass through several test flight phases during the next year before the complete design is finished. After the test flights, a pre-production model will be built to verify that it reaches all the standards of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and of the ASTM (American Section of the International Association for Testing Materials) before it enters to production by the end of the year 2010.
It is Kept at Home
The Icon A5 is a sports aircraft with an amphibious design, with a retractable landing gear to take-off from land or water, which has different technologies among which the folding wings that make possible to put it away easily or to be tugged in land.
One person can unfold the wings manually very quickly, and there is the option that allows that the mechanism will be automatically activated sea from the cabin while it is parked in land or water.
The model, made with a structure of carbon fiber of great strength, is propelled by a reliable Rotax 912 ULS motor of 100 hp that works with gasoline, which produces a top speed of 207 km/h.
Beside the folding wings, another characteristic of the Icon A5 includes a very comfortable cabin, similar to the one in a luxurious sports car, with the controls at sight, as well as a Seawing platform for an easy access and coupling over water.
The critical safety controls, such as the wing fold safety, circuit fuses and a handle for the parachute deployment, are put into groups in an intuitive console and easy to access over the head.
The Icon A5, as all the Light Sports Aircrafts and Seaplanes have permission for the low flight under optimum weather conditions (daytime hours, with good weather and air space out of restrictions), avoiding flying at night or in adverse weather.
Due to these limitations, the training for sports pilots is focused in the foundations of common risks; the training for flying at night and with bad weather is not necessary, as neither is to develop more complex skills of transportation.
The estimated price of the standard model is of $139,000 dollars, and the production of the aircraft and initial deliveries are programmed to start at the end of the year 2010.
What is a Light Sports Aircraft?
The revolution in sportive aviation started in 2004, when the FAA, in collaboration with the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association), created the category Light Sport Aircraft, LSA, just like a new category of license for pilots (Sport Pilot), both focused specifically to the consumer of recreational flights.
The Sport Pilot license is focused in the flight fundamentals and requires a minimum of 20 hours of flight training, which is half the time and cost of a traditional license of a private pilot.
When LSA was created, the gap between the performance needed and the price between an ultra light aircraft less sophisticated and a larger one, of more complex transportation, was closed. The LSA are designed to be accessible, light and easy to operate, focused on the recreational pilots whose flight is basically for fun.
Maximum take off weight
60 lb maximum
(Rotax 912 ULS) 100 hp
(car gasoline or Gas Plane)
Two seats (pilot+passenger)
Distance for take-off landing
Folding wings (manual or automatic).
Not Pressurized Cabin.
Retractable Landing Gear (optional).
Easy access water Platform and
mooring in water.
Accessory to be tugged (optional).
Navigation Headlamps and lights.
Intuitive cabin sports car type.
Shell seat that allows a perfect
visibility by the lateral windows.
Multiple storage compartments.
Text: Laura Velázquez ± Photo: ICON Aircraft