Icon A-5 is a whole new aviation concept. It is designed to be a
personal airplane aimed at the domestic leisure market - and people
don't need to be experienced pilots to fly it. The A-5 intends to
simplify the flying process so much that anyone can pick up the skills
necessary to fly the plane quickly and easily, and it has a whole stack
of sophisticated safety features to help it achieve this goal. The
aircraft has been in development since 2008 and is moving towards
general release, having passed through the first of the necessary
regulatory checks. Let's have a look at this incredible concept and see a
video of the A-5 in action.
you have ever dreamed of owning your own plane, but don't want the
added hassle of huge storage costs, long periods of training and
complicated dashboards full of buttons, then the Icon A-5 is designed
with you in mind. The dashboard of the plane looks more like something
that you would find in the modern sports car, than an airplane, and aims
to keep things as simple as possible. The A-5 has been described as the
aviation industry's answer to the Tesla.
aircraft can take off and land on either water or gravel, and is
genuinely amphibious. It features a carbon-fiber airframe, retractable
undercarriage, and is powered by a three-bladed pusher propeller. The
plane is meant to appeal to 'weekend warriors' who would savor the
thrill of flying, and use the plane to reach remote lakes and rivers.
The company's head of sales, Craig Bowers believes the plane will be at
the forefront of the 'next powersport'. It can be viewed as the latest
expensive toy in a list that historically includes sports cars,
supercars, jet skis and private yachts.
course, flying is inherently dangerous and if people don't know what
they are doing then it could turn out very badly indeed. For that
reason, the designers have attempted to 'fool-proof' the plane to
prevent accidents. Among the many safety features are a unique 'angle of
attack' gauge that lets the pilot know if they are flying safely
relative to the conditions. Engineers have also designed the plane to be
resistant to spins and stalls. If the pilot makes a mistake and stalls
the plane, it will continue to glide rather than nosedive, due to its
specially designed wings.
course, it wouldn't be suitable for the general adventure sport market
if it wasn't easy to store and transport. Engineers have tried to
satisfy this need - and they have been innovative in doing so. The wings
of the A-5 fold inwards to make the machine much more compact so it can
be carried on a trailer. By the same logic, the plane could also be
feasibly stored in a garage - although with a length of 23 feet (7
meters), you would need a fairly large garage.
Icon A-5 is officially classed as a light-sport aircraft and features
some impressive specifications. It has room for one passenger in
addition to the pilot, a range of around 345 miles (556km) per journey
and a maximum speed of 211mph (194km/h). The maximum take-off weight is
1,510lbs (685kg), meaning there is room for 550lbs (249kg) of 'useful
load' (passenger weight, baggage etc.).
you get too excited, the Icon A-5 does of course come at a high price.
The first batch of models are being sold for $250,000, although the
company intends to sell later batches at the lower (but still
significant) price of $197,000. That said, the plane is the first of its
type and it remains to be seen whether the concept will catch on,
leading to more affordable but similar offerings in years to come. The
company behind the design is currently busy earning all the necessary
Federal Aviation Association approvals ahead of the plane's release, and
have already received orders for 1,500 planes, which they hope to
deliver by 2019.