Icon Aircraft has completed a series of hydrostatic and hydrodynamic tests on the Icon A5 amphibious Light Sport Airplane.
The tests verified the basic hull performance for typical seaplane operations, as well as expanding the envelope into higher winds, rougher sea states, and advanced maneuvering.
“The A5 is a pure sport seaplane, engineered to handle aggressive maneuvering on the water while at the same time making the pilot’s experience both very safe and extremely exciting,” said Kirk Hawkins, CEO and founder. “To ensure that the performance of the hull exceeded our expectations, Icon’s engineering team worked side by side with some of the world’s top marine architects to create what we feel is one of the most sophisticated seaplane hulls ever designed.”
Tests have shown that there is minimal porpoising tendency and the A5 will smoothly accelerate onto the step to takeoff speed in a stick-free condition, requiring little to no pilot input until rotation speed, according to company officials. In addition, the forebody’s higher deadrise allows this smaller amphibian plane to handle relatively rough water on takeoff and landing, they add.
The Seawings on each side of the fuselage provide stability both hydrostatically and hydrodynamically as well as convenient platforms for users to move in and around the aircraft while on land or in the water, company officials note. The Seawings also function like the swim platform on the back of a ski boat, facilitating easy docking as well as easy access in and out of the water. During planing step-turns, the Seawings allow the aircraft to bank significantly more than with the outrigger-type sponson floats seen on typical hull-type seaplanes. The Seawings permit the A5 to make tighter coordinated turns on the water while stabilizing the aircraft to keep the wingtips from touching throughout the normal maneuvering envelope.
Flight testing of the prototype is scheduled to continue throughout 2009.
Estimated base price of the Icon A5 is $139,000. Orders are now being accepted at www.iconaircraft.com with a refundable $5,000 deposit. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in late 2010.
For more information: IconAircraft.com.