Video: Icon Reveals A5’s Pilot-Friendly AoA System

Icon Aircraft has finished designing and testing the angle-of-attack indication system in the Icon A5 light sport amphibian and created an informative video showing just how the device works (view it below).

The Icon A5’s AoA indicator is a round dial in the pilot’s line of sight showing a picture of a wing that increases its angle from green to yellow to red ranges as angle of attack approaches a stall. The result is angle-of-attack information that is presented to the pilot in clear terms, which in turn should enhance safety in the A5, Icon says.

“I think angle of attack, well executed, is a game changer in any airplane – and it’s long overdue,” said Icon founder Kirk Hawkins, himself a former Air Force F-16 pilot.

As shown in the Icon video, the A5’s AoA indicator is designed in such a way that the pilot, while monitoring airspeed as part of the normal scan, can also cross reference the AoA indicator to always be aware of the margin of lift available. On approach, the pictorial of the wing should be kept in the green in a segment labeled “Approach.” As long as the wing stays in the green or yellow areas, the wing won’t be stalled. In the red, the critical stalling angle of attack has been reached.

“Every fighter pilot in the world relies on AoA to help them land, keep them safe from unintended stalls, and max perform their aircraft,” Hawkins said. “This safety technology should be available to more pilots – especially new pilots and those flying small aircraft.”

The AoA gauge in the A5 is positioned at the top of the instrument cluster, keeping it as close to the pilot’s line of sight as possible. The FAA has acknowledged the importance of angle of attack to small aircraft safety. An Advisory Circular published last August emphasizes that AoA gauges allow pilots to quickly assess their stall margin.

For more on the current state of the art in angle-of-attack indication systems, check out our feature article "Taming Stalls and Spins with Technology" in the August issue of Flying.

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