Testing Proceeds on Icon A5 Light Sport Amphibian

With its landing gear first installed last July, the prototype Icon A5 amphibian continues to undergo a combination of tests involving land and water operations. The company reports that the electrically driven retractable gear cycles in 10 seconds, and takeoff tests have shown its geometry to be correct. Liftoffs have come at below the expected 45-knot rotation speed. In addition, the landing gear has been tested in the water, where it can be cycled for taxiing onto land after a water landing, or vice versa. The company describes the performance of the landing gear to be an ideal combination of stiffness and flexibility, affording "stable and refined" ground handling. Steering via the castering nose wheel is by differential braking. The Icon A5 also continues to attract attention from outside the aviation industry, receiving awards for design, making an appearance on The Today Show, and being featured as the ideal "his and hers" gift in the Neiman Marcus Christmas book. Icon reports more than 450 A5s on order.

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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