$139K Light Sport Amphib Makes a Splash

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Can a light sport amphibian gain a beachhead in the new-airplane market? With Vern Raburn on its board of advisors and a veteran team of engineers from Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites, California-based Icon Aircraft is approaching the market with gusto. Founded in 2005 by former F-16 pilot Kirk Hawkins, Icon's inaugural product is a slick, two-place amphibian with folding wings and a 100 hp Rotax pusher engine. Projected to start at $139,000, the two-seat (side-by-side) Icon A5 is expected to have a useful load of 350 to 590 pounds (depending on options), a range of 300 nautical miles and a top speed of 100 knots. Its folding wings will allow owners to trailer the aircraft like a boat. Unveiled last month at a ceremony emcee'd by Raburn, a proof-of-concept Icon A5 is expected to fly this summer and could make its debut at EAA AirVenture, which opens July 28.