Icon Aircraft plans to obtain FAA certification of its A5 amphibious airplane in the Part 23 primary category, the company announced yesterday at the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
The move is intended to expand the market for the light sport aircraft (LSA) A5, especially in international markets where LSA regulations are not recognized. The certification will also make it easier for A5 pilots to fly in Caribbean countries and also to operate from yachts anchored in foreign waters. Icon Aircraft will continue to manufacture and sell the LSA version, which is available with the Garmin aera 796 portable GPS navigator or an optional Garmin G3X Touch and autopilot configuration.
Certification of the A5 is expected in the fourth quarter, and this version will have the Garmin 796 package. A new “signature series” of paint schemes designed by Scheme Designers will also be available, in electric green and blue and a gray livery. The price of the certified version will be $399,000 including one of those paint schemes and seaplane transition pilot training. Later, Icon Aircraft will offer the G3X Touch/autopilot avionics as an option in the certified version.
Activity is picking up at Icon Aircraft, according to Warren Curry, v-p of sales, marketing, flight ops, and service. “We’re growing,” he said. This year, Icon Aircraft will deliver 31 A5s, with 24 of those taking place in the second half. In 2022, the company expects to deliver more than 50 A5s.
During the show, Icon Aircraft is offering an incentive program for 10 airplanes that includes two years of scheduled maintenance, for $20,000 deposits taken before August 1. Both the LSA and certified A5 are eligible.
Meanwhile, Icon Aircraft has introduced pilots to the A5 with its “AoA Tour,” Curry said, “where we go to peoples’ backyards so they can talk, taste, feel, and fly the Icon experience.” The company is further developing its new Smart App preflight planning tool, which gives pilots a risk assessment based on actual conditions. More than 50 percent of Icon owners are now using the app. A new series of safety videos is also available, covering A5 operations such as ramping, beaching, saltwater operations and cleaning, and other topics.