Some of the 1,800 pilots and potential pilots who have put in their deposits to hold a position for an Icon A5 amphibious LSA may have had their dreams shattered this week as the company announced a dramatic price increase. The price went up by nearly 30 percent over the last quoted base price, from $207,000 in 2016 to $269,000 in 2018 dollars. When the airplane was first announced in 2008, the estimated price was $139,000.
However, Icon’s founder and president Kirk Hawkins said in a letter to the deposit holders that all 2018 slots are reserved for fully loaded A5s. The first 100 A5s – the Founders Edition airplanes – will set customers back $389,000, the same as some new Part 23 certified airplanes. Base-equipped airplanes won’t be available until 2019 at the earliest. Deposit holders have the option of delaying their delivery slots until that time if they don’t want a fully loaded airplane.
Hawkins said that anyone who would like to drop out would get a full refund. And it appears that he expects that to happen. “If you choose to take delivery of your A5, the good news is you may be able to get your aircraft much sooner than expected since there will be some open slots,” he said.
There is, however, also some good news as Icon is offering new programs to help their potential customers. Financing and leasing plans are now available and Icon will work with customers willing to participate in shared ownership arrangements. Other programs for owners and deposit holders include up to $10,000 in credits toward accessories, discounted A5 rentals, demo flights and the possibility of purchasing Icon IPO shares in the future.
The first model year 2018 A5 was delivered this month to former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay. Many modifications have been made to the original airframe based on feedback from the first 21 production models, which have accumulated more than 6,000 hours of flight time combined. Some of the improvements include sturdier nosewheel, more legible instruments, improved engine cooling, stiffer rudder pedals and a canopy construction that allows for unrestricted flight with the windows removed.