ICON Aircraft unveiled the first production A5 amphibious light sport aircraft at EAA AirVenture on July 27, an aircraft the company refers to as Engineering Serial Number 1 (ESN-1). It took the company five months to build and it did its maiden flight in Tehachapi, California, and two more will be built.
“This is one of the most significant milestones to date for ICON. It represents the culmination of years of research, design, engineering, and manufacturing dedication by an outstanding team,” said ICON Aircraft Founder and CEO Kirk Hawkins. “The A5 is no longer a prototype or concept aircraft; it’s a sophisticated, production-ready, consumer-focused aircraft. The entire ICON team is pouring its heart and soul into bringing the A5 to our customers, and it shows in the truly exceptional execution of the product. I couldn’t be prouder.”
It weighs only 1510 lb (686.4 kg) thanks to its carbon composite waterproof hull and the lightweight 100 bhp Rotax 912 iS gasoline engine. The two-seater production model can reach a top speed of 105 kts (120 mph / 194 km/h) and have a range of 300 nautical miles (345 mile/555 km).
The wings can be folded, it can be fitted with an optional retracting landing gear and a huge parachute for increased safety. This the first A5 built from the production design, with production tooling, and using production methods and components.
ICON said they will start deliver the first units to clients in May 2015 for an estimated price of $189,000, planning to build 500 of them per year. Hawkins predicted it would take at least three years to deliver the 1,000 airplanes for which they already have orders. Production will occur at the company’s new facility in Vacaville, California.