Icon Aircraft, the maker of the hotly anticipated A5 amphib, said it has begun a close collaboration with carmaker Lotus to help design the light sport airplane’s automotive-inspired interior.
Icon said Lotus Engineering USA has been brought onboard because of its experience designing and mass-producing lightweight vehicle components. The work is focusing on the A5’s cockpit, where Lotus’ experience in low-weight premium automotive-quality components is helping Icon create an aircraft interior that looks like the inside of a sports car.
“The collaboration with Lotus is perfect for Icon because it provides us with world-class expertise during this intense period of production development,” said Icon Vice President of Design Klaus Tritschler.
Lotus engineers, he said, are working alongside Icon’s designers on site at Icon’s facilities in California. The joint team created the structural design and manufacturing concept of the two-seat interior, in which all cosmetic parts also act as structural parts. This, said Tritschler, eliminates the need for hidden structure, reducing weight and complexity.
Icon said the joint team is finalizing the design-for-manufacturing process and will soon receive the first rapid prototype parts for the A5 interior.