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ICON Aircraft: Spread the wings and fly

Dal Kikin
April 5, 2019

For those who dream of flying, it’s easier than ever. The Icon A5 costs about the same as a big superyacht tender. It is a good companion for a motor yacht as flying is less complicated than a helicopter. Also, the rules have become simpler with the implementation of a light sport aircraft license, the technology is more user-friendly and the price is not that high. 

ICON Aircraft founded by Kirk Hawkins and Steen Strand in 2006 after the Federal Aviation Association’s 2004 decision to create the Light Sport Aircraft category, the company has one craft to date, the two-seat amphibious A5. 

The Icon is powered by Rotax 912iS Sport. The A5 uses the electronically fuel injected version, the 912 iS Sport, which delivers even better efficiency and simple operation in all conditions. With a maximum speed of 113 miles per hour, a range of 427 nautical miles and the ability to take off on a runway (or beach) or on water, the carbon-fiber jet features folding wings, retractable landing gear, and simple automotive-like controls. The A5 uses LEDs for all exterior lighting. In addition to using less energy and generating less heat, they are bright and allow very defined beams. Custom LED landing and taxi light assemblies provide outstanding illumination and are a defining part of the A5’s design.

One of the most talked about features of the A5 is the integrated angle-of-attack (AOA) indicator. ICON created their own and placed on the central panel. It’s intuitive one of the most useful instruments for the pilot. To review, the angle of attack is the angle between the wing’s chord line and the relative wind. More simply, it’s the angle between where the airplane is pointing and where it’s actually going. An AOA indicator displays this angle of attack in a visual way. The pilot has just to control being in a "green zone". The airfoil image turn as the plane is maneuvering and shows the pilot exactly what the wing is doing in real time. Keep it out of the red zone, and the plane won’t stall.

The A5 combines the best of boats and airplanes, with easy beaching capability and waterproof interior materials that allow owners to enter and exit the aircraft directly from the water. One person needs two minutes to unfold the A5’s wings and be ready to fly. The A5 trailer's hydraulic retracting bunks allow the plane to be loaded and unloaded on its wheels or launched and recovered in the water like a boat, giving you the ultimate in flexibility.

The other feature is Seawings platforms which provide stability on the water as well as convenient platforms to check engine vitals and enter the aircraft on land, from a dock, or from the water.

All these features give the pilot feeling freedom and independence.

@Photos by The ICON Aircraft