ICON Aircraft is collaborating closely with Lotus Engineering USA on key areas of the production design of the ICON A5 amphibious Light Sport Aircraft. The work focuses on the A5’s cockpit, where Lotus’ experience in lightweight premium automotive-quality components is especially relevant, ICON officials said.
“The collaboration with Lotus is perfect for ICON because it provides us with world-class expertise during this intense period of production development,” said ICON VP of Design Klaus Tritschler. “Lotus has proven invaluable because of their experience designing and manufacturing high quality yet lightweight interiors in the same volumes at which we’ll be producing the A5. Additionally, they provide key production knowledge and insights from the automotive industry, which we consider the benchmark in terms of quality and design.”
Lotus engineers are working alongside ICON’s designers on-site at ICON’s facilities in California to supplement the ICON team. The joint team created the structural design and manufacturing concept of the interior, in which all cosmetic parts also act as structural parts. This eliminates the need for hidden structure, reducing weight and complexity, officials note.
“We’re thrilled to be working with ICON on this project,” said Lotus Engineering USA CEO Darren Somerset. “In addition to giving Lotus Engineering the opportunity to work in the aerospace sector, which is one of our key strategic growth areas, this collaboration capitalizes on the extraordinary match between Lotus and ICON in terms of objectives, cultures, and philosophies. At our cores, we are both motivated by making products that bring excitement and passion to our users and fans, and we firmly believe in the power of combining world-class engineering and design to get there.”
The joint team is finalizing the design-for-manufacturing process and will soon receive the first rapid prototype parts.
ICON Aircraft is developing the A5, an amphibious sport aircraft. The company reports it has received more than 700 order deposits and is scheduled to start production of the A5 at the end of 2012.
For more information: ICONAircraft.com
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