The highly anticipated Icon A5 has completed an FAA audit that will allow the start of full production of the sleek amphibian. Icon plans to deliver its first customer airplane next month at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
This week, Flying had the opportunity to fly the A5. Look for the full report in an upcoming issue of Flying.
The clean-sheet Icon A5 has been a long time coming and skeptics have questioned the viability of the airplane. Part of the reason for the delays has been a significant redesign of the original proof of concept along with a request for a weight increase beyond the LSA limitations to allow for safety features to be incorporated into the design. After more than a year, the FAA granted the exemption with some conditions. For example, the airplane had to be spin resistant and carry a BRS parachute.
Icon is also getting ready to move its factory in Tehachapi, California, and its Los Angeles-based offices to the new headquarters in Vacaville, California, a process that will begin in August. Serial number two will be completed before the move while final assembly of serial number three will take place in Vacaville. Icon has a very aggressive target to deliver 60 airplanes by next year’s AirVenture.
While it is likely to take a while to get the production going and ramped up, the tooling in the Vacaville facility, which includes two 140,000 square foot buildings, has the capacity to produce 37 airplanes per month and enough space to double that production capability.
Icon has taken more than 1250 deposits for the A5 ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. It remains to be seen how many of those deposits will translate into actual orders. The price tag for the first 100 Founders Edition airplanes is $247,000.
Check out our “5 Planes That Will Change Aviation” feature, which highlights the Icon A5.
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