|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California, USA|
|Key people||Kirk Hawkins, CEO
Steen Strand, COO
Matthew Gionta, CTO
ICON Aircraft is a privately held American aircraft design and production company. It is currently focusing on the refinement and development of the ICON A5, an amphibious light sport aircraft that was scheduled to begin production in late 2012. However, the master tooling for fuselage and wings, required for serial production, was not acquired until late 2013.
History and Financing
ICON Aircraft was founded in response to the 2004 Federal Aviation Administration establishment of the light-sport aircraft (LSA) class of aircraft and Sport Pilot certificate class of pilot. The company was founded in 2005 by Kirk Hawkins and Steen Strand. Hawkins had previously flown F-16s in the United States Air Force and Boeing 757s for American Airlines. Strand's background is in product design, marketing, and finance, and he founded Freebord, a skateboard company. The two met at Stanford University in a Product Design class in 1993.
A proof of concept aircraft was built in 2007-2008, and made its first flight in July 2008. The company publicly launched the A5 in Los Angeles at a private event on 11 June 2008. ICON has also acknowledged the possibility of releasing additional models in the future, but maintains that it will focus on the light-sport aircraft market.[unreliable source?]
Strategy and Positioning
ICON Aircraft positions the A5 with a recreational focus, claiming that ICON competes with powersports vehicles such as ATVs, motorcycles, watercraft, and snowmobiles, rather than other airplanes. ICON CEO Kirk Hawkins said “it’s not about the usual metrics of speed, range, payload, altitude, and complex cockpits. It’s about getting you out there and interacting with your world.”  ICON’s media debut in Wired (magazine) and coverage in mainstream media shows significant interest from outside the aviation community, and ICON has reported that 35% of its customers are not pilots.
ICON Aircraft's first model is the ICON A5, an amphibious 2-seat, light-sport aircraft to be priced at approximately USD $189,000. Its folding wings facilitate transportation and storage, and it will have a range of approximately 300 nautical miles (560 km) and a top speed of 105 knots (120 mph).
The company has assigned nearly 700 positions as of August 2011, and anticipated that production would begin in the fourth quarter of 2012. As of late 2013, production has not yet begun.
ICON Aircraft's headquarters are located in Los Angeles, California. It also has an engineering facility in Tehachapi, California, where the design, building, testing, and manufacturing processes are occurring. ICON has said that production will start in Tehachapi, California but will move elsewhere in the future.
On August 6, 2012, it was announced that Cirrus Aircraft would become one of the key strategic supplier partners for the ICON A5 amphibious Light Sport Aircraft. The companies had agreed that Cirrus, the manufacturer of the leading SR20 and SR22 lines of high-performance single-engine aircraft, will produce a significant portion of the composite airframe components for ICON Aircraft.
Directors and Advisors
- Bart Becht - Former CEO of Reckitt Benckiser
- John Dorton - CEO and president of MasterCraft
- Satyen Patel - Former head of Nike, Inc. in Asia
- Linden Blue - Vice Chairman of General Atomics
- David Beach - Professor of Manufacturing, Stanford University
- Philip M. Condit - Former Chairman and CEO of Boeing
- Esther Dyson - Journalist and entrepreneur, President EDVenture
- Bruce Holmes - Former director at NASA
- David Kelley - Chairman and founder of IDEO
- Troy Lee - President, Troy Lee Designs
- "Guest Speaker: Bringing The "Sport" Back To Flying (Kirk Hawkins)". Plane & Pilot Magazine. Retrieved 2009-07-19.
- Pasztor, Andy (2008-06-12). "Start-Up Wants A New Audience To Take to the Air". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-07-19.
- "Icon Aircraft secures $25 million investment". Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
- "The Ultimate Flying Machine: Sexy as a Sports Car, Portable as a Jet Ski". Wired. 2008-12-22.[dead link], Wired Magazine.
- "Just Plane Fun". Stanford Magazine. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "Freebord Design Process". Freebord Manufacturing. Retrieved 2009-07-16.[dead link]
- "Being ICONic". EAA Sport Aviation Magazine. Retrieved 2011-11-10.
- "ICON Aircraft Launches New Amphibious Sport Plane". Aero News Network. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
- "ICON company FAQs". ICON Aircraft. Retrieved 2009-07-20.[dead link]
- "Starting a Revolution". Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
- AOPA Pilot: "Starting a Revolution". August 2009. Retrieved on 2009-11-17.
- "ICON Aircraft News". ICON Aircraft. Retrieved 2011-08-16.
- "Soaring Sales for Sport Plane". Tehachapi News. Retrieved 2009-07-20.[dead link]
- "Backstage With A Rock Star". Plane & Pilot. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
- "Cirrus Aircraft News - ICON Aircraft and Cirrus Aircraft to Partner on the Production of the ICON A5 Amphibious Sport Plane". Cirrusaircraft.com. 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
- "ICON to relocate to Vacaville" General Aviation News, May 14, 2014. Accessed: May 15, 2014.