Icon Aircraft Secures Production Funding

Investor group infuses $60 million into LSA company.

Icon A5

Icon A5

** Icon A5**

Icon Aircraft, the developer of the Icon A5 amphibious light sport aircraft, has received a $60 million cash infusion from undisclosed investors in North America, Europe and Asia, “led by a top-notch privately held strategic investor from China,” according to Icon’s CEO and founder Kirk Hawkins. Icon maintains full control of the management of the company.

The company claims the money will be sufficient to establish full-scale production and to perform research and development for future models. This is the fourth round of funding that the Tehachapi, California-based company has raised. But nearly five years after the Icon A5 was first announced at AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where the first flying prototype was shown, the company has yet to deliver its first customer LSA. And it doesn’t appear that the first delivery will happen any time soon.

Icon has petitioned the FAA for a 250-pound weight increase beyond the LSA restrictions due to its spin resistant qualities, which Icon claims meet Part 23 standards. The company has been waiting for more than a year to learn whether the FAA will grant the request. "This has been a longer and more challenging journey than even we had anticipated," said Hawkins.

Icon claims to have secured nearly 1,000 deposits for the A5. But it will be a while before the investors can see any return on their money. The A5 has an “estimated price” of $139,000 in 2008 dollars.