ICON Constructs and Flies First Production A5
Icon was founded in by two Stanford graduates in 2006 with the vision of creating a light sport aircraft that was fun and easy to fly. The FAA’s dramatic 2004 regulation changes that created the Light Sport Aircraft category, have redefined the possibilities for aviation and allowed ICON to “reinvent flying” by focusing on the consumer experience. The aircraft named the A5 was created as a concept in 2008 and ever since the first test flight the A5’s release has been highly anticipated by the aviation community.
The A5 is a high-wing flying boat-type amphibious monoplane with a carbon fibre airframe and retractable undercarriage. It seats two people in an enclosed cockpit and is powered by a single 100 hp (75 kW) Rotax 912 iS engine driving a three-bladed pusher propeller. The two-seat A5 features folding wings that make it easy to store the airplane or tow it on a trailer; a wraparound bubble canopy to maximise in-flight views and a full-aircraft built-in parachute.
ICON unveiled the first production A5 known as (ESN-1) at the EAA AirVenture air show in Wisconsin in July, EAA AirVenture is the world’s biggest general aviation show. ESN-1 was built at ICON’s facility in Tehachapi, California, and wears a one-off commemorative paint scheme to celebrate this significant milestone on the A5’s road to production. A second production prototype, ESN-2, is currently under construction and is scheduled for completion and structural testing this autumn.
The Icon A5 looks to start the sport flying revolution with some calling it “The biggest change in aviation in 50 years”. The creation of this new category of aircraft along with the new sport pilot licence makes the dream of flight more accessible and more affordable than ever before.