First production ICON A5 flies

ICON A5 double

OSHKOSH — The night before EAA AirVenture opened, ICON Aircraft unveiled the first production A5, an aircraft the company refers to as Engineering Serial Number 1 (ESN-1).

This is the first A5 built from the production design, with production tooling, and using production methods and components. ESN-1 was built over a five-month period, from January to June of 2014, and successfully completed its first flight on July 7 in Tehachapi, California. This aircraft is one of three that will be used to verify performance and complete FAA approval prior to the start of customer deliveries in May 2015.

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ICON to relocate to Vacaville

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LOS ANGELES  — ICON Aircraft will relocate to the City of Vacaville in Northern California, located approximately 50 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Beginning in the first quarter of 2015, the company will begin operating in a 140,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the Vacaville airport, also known as the Nut Tree Airport.

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FAA delays decision on Icon weight increase

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FAA officials have informed Icon Aircraft that a decision on the company’s request for an exemption to the Light-Sport Aircraft weight limitations for its amphibious Icon A5 won’t be made until the end of the year, according to a report at AOPA.org. Icon Aircraft founder Kirk Hawkins asked for an exemption in May to increase the weight limit to 1,680 pounds. Accounting for the weight increase is a cuffed wing that is aerodynamically spin resistant, according to Icon officials, who say this increases safety for Sport Pilots.

Is spin resistance a big deal? Well, yes!

ICON AIRCRAFT HISTORIC SAFETY ACHIEVEMENT

On Memorial Day I had a chance to visit Icon Aircraft and spend some time with CEO Kirk Hawkins. We met seven years ago — just after the Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) rule was released — near the beginning of his ambitions to create an entirely clean-sheet LSA amphibian.

Recently, Icon released a video to tout its spin resistant airframe (SRA). I reported work toward this earlier and it’s been some time coming. Why the wait? From my first-hand experience with Cirrus Design and the development of the SR20, I have a bit of inside knowledge on this subject.

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ICON collaborates with Lotus Engineering

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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.

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New VP of operations at Icon

Icon Aircraft has named Ron Nussle, Jr., C.P.M. VP of Operations. Nussle served as Director of Strategic Supply Chain Management at Cessna Aircraft for three years and spent 12 years before that at Honeywell Aerospace where he held engineering, operations, and program management positions.

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Microsoft Flight launches with Icon A5 as featured aircraft

The new Microsoft Flight PC game featuring the Icon Aircraft A5 has officially launched. The starter pack is now available to download for free and includes the Big Island of Hawaii as well as the A5 as the default aircraft. Microsoft has also announced pricing for additional downloadable content, including the rest of the Hawaiian Islands and four other aircraft besides the A5.

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