Icon Light Sport Amphibian Launched With Great Fanfare

Icon A5

On the evening before announcing he is leaving Eclipse, Vern Raburn took another stage at EAA AirVenture with a decidedly more upbeat message. He serves on the advisory board of Icon Aircraft, a Los Angeles company that hopes to produce its A5 light sport amphibian. The Icon A5 is a two-seat, folding-wing, trailer-capable amphibian with a strikingly sports-car-like interior. At the event, Raburn spoke of "changing the way people fly" before he introduced company founder and president Kirk Hawkins, a former F-16 pilot and current airline pilot with extensive experience in skydiving and ultralight flying. Hawkins ended his presentation with a video of the first flight of the A5, followed by introducing the actual flying prototype pulled on its trailer into the hall. The A5 is expected to sell for a base price of $139,000. A ballistic parachute is optional. Icon promotes the A5 for nonpilots, with the promise that it can train them for their sport pilot license in "as little as two weeks." For current pilots, Icon offers transition training at its training center.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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