Icon Aircraft Provides A5 Program Update

Icon Aircraft has provided an update on the Icon A5 amphibious LSA program. It has been nine months since the Tehachapi, California-based company received the go ahead from the FAA for a requested weight increase, which allowed Icon to give the A5 a gross weight of 1,510 pounds. With the weight increase secured, the engineering details have been nailed down and the first production version of the Icon A5, named Engineering Serial Number 1, or ESN1 for short, is being assembled in Tehachapi.

The structural composite components of ESN1 are in the process of being bonded and, once they come together, systems integration will follow. ESN1 is "on target for completion later this year," Icon said, and it is one of several test platforms that will be used for the FAA's LSA approval process.

After securing all the production tooling, assembly fixtures and outsourced components required to build the A5, Icon has set up a major storage facility with a barcode tracking system to keep track of the more than 2,000 parts that make up the A5. Icon did not provide any projection for when the A5 would be ready for market introduction.

Much of the marketing surrounding the Icon has tailored to non-pilots. However, the company appears to be committed to providing the training required to keep A5 owners on the safe side. Former F/A-18 Hornet pilot Jeremy "Hilda" Brunn has been appointed as Icon's director of flight training and he has put together an advisory board of seven experts with experience in motorcycle training, automobile racing and aerobatic flying. Racecar driver René Villeneuve said: "There seemed to be a mindset that a proper training program is the most valuable asset to the customer."

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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