FAA officials have informed Icon Aircraft that a decision on the company’s request for an exemption to the Light-Sport Aircraft weight limitations for its amphibious Icon A5 won’t be made until the end of the year, according to a report at AOPA.org. Icon Aircraft founder Kirk Hawkins asked for an exemption in May to increase the weight limit to 1,680 pounds. Accounting for the weight increase is a cuffed wing that is aerodynamically spin resistant, according to Icon officials, who say this increases safety for Sport Pilots.
OSHKOSH — Icon Aircraft has reduced the deposit for an A5 position from $5,000 to $2,000 as part of an AirVenture special. The offer will apply to any order placed in person or online during the week of the show (July 23-29). The company also said it will donate $100 to the Seaplane Pilots Association for every deposit taken during the promotion.
On Memorial Day I had a chance to visit Icon Aircraft and spend some time with CEO Kirk Hawkins. We met seven years ago — just after the Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) rule was released — near the beginning of his ambitions to create an entirely clean-sheet LSA amphibian.
Recently, Icon released a video to tout its spin resistant airframe (SRA). I reported work toward this earlier and it’s been some time coming. Why the wait? From my first-hand experience with Cirrus Design and the development of the SR20, I have a bit of inside knowledge on this subject.
ICON Aircraft is collaborating closely with Lotus Engineering USA on key areas of the production design of the ICON A5 amphibious Light Sport Aircraft. The work focuses on the A5’s cockpit, where Lotus’ experience in lightweight premium automotive-quality components is especially relevant, ICON officials said.
Earlier this year, Icon Aircraft revealed that it had successfully completed spin-resistance testing of its A5 amphibious Light-Sport Aircraft to the standard specified by the FAA for Part 23 certified aircraft.
Icon Aircraft has named Ron Nussle, Jr., C.P.M. VP of Operations. Nussle served as Director of Strategic Supply Chain Management at Cessna Aircraft for three years and spent 12 years before that at Honeywell Aerospace where he held engineering, operations, and program management positions.
The new Microsoft Flight PC game featuring the Icon Aircraft A5 has officially launched. The starter pack is now available to download for free and includes the Big Island of Hawaii as well as the A5 as the default aircraft. Microsoft has also announced pricing for additional downloadable content, including the rest of the Hawaiian Islands and four other aircraft besides the A5.
Icon Aircraft’s A5 amphibious Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) has successfully completed a regimen of spin-resistance test flights.
Microsoft recently announced the return of Flight Simulator, once one of the best-selling games on computers. Well, in truth, it’s no longer called Flight Simulator, rather simply “Flight.”
In 2009 Microsoft abruptly dropped Flight Sim, leaving only the techy X-Plane for digital joystick jockeys. It’s way above my pay grade to understand why the Microsoft billionaires dropped a good seller but, who cares? It’s back with one Great Big Surprise: The iconic Icon A5 LSA seaplane is the default aircraft and shows even titanic Microsoft sees where the action is in aviation. The other two aircraft coming with Flight are an RV-6 and a Boeing Stearman, a significant change from the Cessna 172 or bizjet of Flight Sim.
Icon Aircraft’s Kirk Hawkins would be proud. While in a Tacoma-area Apple Store this past weekend to buy a graduation gift, I struck up a conversation with one of the store employees. When I told him I published General Aviation News, in response to his asking what I did for a living, he immediately asked, “Have you heard of the Icon A5?” My grin and nod confirmed my verbal, “Oh, yes!” The salesman then got quite excited as we discussed the Icon specifically, and flying in general over the next few minutes. He wanted to know what I thought of the A5, was it safe, what about other light aircraft, safety and more.
The content of the conversation, while important, takes a back seat to the fact a conversation took place at all. He was a young man (mid- to late-20s I’d guess) who was captivated by the Icon. He’s not a pilot, and he casually mentioned it would take him 5-7 years to save up the “$120,000 it’ll cost to buy one”. A matter of fact rather than a wistful hope. While I’ve not met Mr. Hawkins, I have no doubt he would be quite pleased to hear this conversation took place and more importantly, that it was instigated by a non-pilot. The kind of person the A5 was designed to target. Bulls-eye!