A De Havilland Beaver for the Red Bull set
The Icon A5 was born out of a major change in FAA legislation allowing an intermediate step between ultralight aircraft which, to the uninitiated, look like jumped up hang gliders with engines and larger aircraft that were designed more for transportation purposes ala De Havilland Beavers, Piper Cubs, Cessnas, etc. This new intermediate category S-LSA or Special Light Sport Aircraft. Once this class opened up, Icon’ founders found that there was a market for small, high performance, stable, simple aircraft that were to be primarily flown for entertainment and the rest, as they say, is history.
The A5 is a fully factory-assembled aircraft with all necessary FAA certifications including an FAA airworthiness certificate which is acquired prior to the new owner taking delivery. No kit planes here, folks. The A5 is a clever piece of kit too, having taken home a 2010 Red Dot design award. It features a single reciprocating engine with a propeller set up in the pusher configuration. The cockpit seats two and is un-pressurized. Retractable landing gears come standard, but some owners may skip the rolling option and opt for the (awesome) seaplane configuration. The plane has a top speed of 120 knots (138 miles per hour groundspeed) and a stall speed of 45 knots (52 miles per hour). This, combined with cleverly designed wing and tail sections make for an incredibly maneuverable and easy to fly aircraft. The A5’s simplicity also helps keep maintenance costs down. The plane’s cockpit is unique as well. It’s definitely more akin to high-end sports cars than it is to your Uncle Bob’s Cessna. The cabin features reasonable sound deadening, luxury materials, and enough design focus to let any potential pilot live out their Top Gun fantasies with ease.
The Icon Aircraft A5 is on the bleeding edge of a new trend in non-commercial aircraft and if the A5 is their first effort, we can’t wait to see what they do in a couple of years. The Icon A5 retails for less than $200,000 and yours can be secured for a $5000 deposit. For more information on the A5 please check out Icon’s website.
Photos courtesy of Icon Aircraft.