‘We’ve got a plane for that!

iCub

SportairUSA, run by proprietor Bill Canino, has long been an innovator in the LSA business. His company doesn’t build airplanes, but Canino has triggered several interesting add-ons: He was one of the first (along with Flight Design USA) to install parachutes on all StingSports; he developed the GreenLine engine monitor system; he offered the Straight & Level button to help those caught unexpectedly in no-visibility conditions; and last year at AirVenture he rolled out the ForeSight enhanced visibility system.

His latest concept is the iCub. Previously distributed under the model name Savage (still retained for some models), the sorta-Cub-like taildragger manufactured by the Zlin company of the Czech Republic will now be distributed by SportairUSA, adding to its low-wing Sting series and high-wing Sirius, both built by TL Ultralight in Czech.

But iCub is more than yet another Cub replica. For one it’s powered by Rotax and it’s shorter coupled. Both differences provide stronger performance. But it’s better, much better (well, at least if you’re an Apple fan like 100 million other owners of the iPod/iPhone/iPad line). The primary instrument in an iCub is…an iPad. Yup, mounted right in the panel and given an enormous ecosystem of apps, iPad can offer tremendous versatility at lower cost than present avionic offerings. A tandem seater, iCub instrumentation for the rear seat occupant is…an iPhone 4. Both can run the same software and both are devices a huge number of people already know how to use. How cool is that? Plus, it has on-board wireless for the devices to talk to one another and to another iCub within reception range.

Price of the iCub is projected to be below $100,000, even with extended gear and 26-inch tundra tires.

For more information: iCub.aero.

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