ICON Aircraft, a privately held startup based in Los Angeles, has just unveiled the latest addition to the powersport category. On June 12, it unveiled the A5, an amphibious sport plane. At the cost of $139,000, the plane is intended for recreational flying and will be available in 2010. The A5 is one of the first aircraft designed specifically for this market, which ICON expects could be worth as much as $2 billion annually.
The A5 is part sports car, part Jet Ski, and part airplane. The aircraft’s folding wings tuck neatly under a slim rear tail so it can be towed behind a car. It’s relatively small – about as long as two compact cars parked bumper to bumper, with a wingspan of 34 feet.
A new, light sport aircraft manufacturer, ICON Aircraft, started with the vision that planes should be designed with the consumer in mind first. Founded out of Stanford Graduate School of Business by Kirk Hawkins, an accomplished engineer and former U.S. Air Force F-16 pilot, ICON Aircraft conducted years of thorough research to develop an industrial design that has evolved to become ICON’s first model, the ICON A5.
A long-time powersports enthusiast, Hawkins’ dream for the potential of sport flying became possible when he first heard of the FAA’s rule changes for light sport aircraft in 2004. As he witnessed what the Yamaha Waverunner did for personal watercraft in 1980’s, Hawkins believed a consumer-oriented sport plane could do the same for recreational flying.
Early on, Hawkins began assembling investors and world-class design and engineering talent to bring the vision to reality. ICON Aircraft eventually set up its headquarters and development facility in Southern California, a region known for having the world’s largest concentration of aerospace resources as well as the world’s leading automobile design and development resources.
Advising along the way have been top academic professionals, business leaders in aviation and powersports, and directors of award-winning product design firms like IDEO and BMW DesignWorks USA.
Leading the charge to bring the design into production is an engineering and fabrication team that previously worked on such notable projects as the Virgin Global Flyer and X-Prize winning SpaceShipOne, among many other significant aircraft and aerospace projects at Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites in nearby Mojave, Calif.
Specs and features:
ICON A5 — Amphibian Special-Light Sport Aircraft (S-LSA)
*BASE PRICE (A5 Amphibian): $139,000 USD
– Seats: 2
– Maximum Weight: 1430 lbs
– Useful Load: 430 lbs (minimum)
– Baggage: 60 lbs (maximum)
– Fuel (Auto Gas or Av Gas): 20 gal
– Maximum Speed (Vh): 105 kts (120 mph)
– Range: 300 nm
– Takeoff & Landing Distance: 750 ft
– Engine (Rotax 912 ULS): 100 hp
Performance specifications are estimates only.
Final performance specifications will be verified during flight-testing.
– Interior Cockpit Width: 46 in
– Wing Span: 34 ft
– Aircraft Length: 22 ft
– Trailered Width: 8.5 ft
– Trailered Length: 28 ft
– Folding wings (manual or automatic)
– Retractable Landing Gear (on ICON A5 Amphibian)
– Seawings, platforms for easy access and docking
– Custom aircraft towing trailer (optional)
– Headlights and flood lights
– High-performance composite airframe
– Amphibious design (flies off land or water)
– Custom, patent-pending, high-performance airfoil
– Rear mounted, 100-hp Rotax 912 ULS Engine
– Runs on auto gasoline or aviation gasoline
– Intuitive, sportscar-like cockpit
– Comfortable, side-by-side seating
– GPS moving map
– iPod in-flight music port
– High-visibility canopy
– Flight with removable side windows
– Multiple storage compartments
– Glass cockpit for night VFR (optional)
– Predictable, docile flying characteristics
– Complete Airplane Parachute, CAP (optional)
– Patent-pending PropellerGuardâ„¢
– Wing Angle of Attack Indicator (AoA)
Seaplane only version, the ICON S5, is an available model, and will not include the Retractable Landing Gear. Options and price will vary on the ICON S5.
The countdown to EAA AirVenture 2008 has started. ICON’s launch product, the ICON A5, will shed its cloak at Aeroshell Square on Monday, July 28 at 10:00 am local time the first day of AirVenture 2008 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This represents the first time for the public to will see the ICON A5 amphibian model in person. ICON’s exhibit will be located at the main entrance to the AirVenture grounds. Attendees will have the opportunity to view the aircraft all week and place orders in person.
ICON Aircraft officially opened its order book on June 12 with the launch of its website. Consumers are now able to place reservations for early positions to buy the ICON A5 amphibious sport plane or ICON S5 seaplane with a deposit of $5,000. Limited-edition planes are available for $100,000 deposit. Go to buy your model to secure your A5 now.
THE ICON A5, The trailer and pilots lessons for two are an offering in the Neiman Marcus 2009 Christmas Book.
Price? $250,000.00 USD