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Icon A5 in the water.jpg
Prototype in 2010
Role amphibious light-sport aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer ICON Aircraft
First flight July 15, 2008[1]
Status Production (early 2015)[2]
Number built One (prototype)
Unit cost
estimated US$189,000[3]

The ICON A5 is an American amphibious light-sport aircraft being developed by ICON Aircraft.[4] A concept aircraft was first flown in 2008, and creation of the production tooling began in December 2012. The first production aircraft made its first flight on July 7, 2014, and made its public debut at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh on July 27, 2014.


Cockpit layout designed to resemble an automobile dashboard

The A5 is a high-wing flying boat-type amphibious monoplane with a carbon fiber airframe and retractable undercarriage. It seats two people in an enclosed cockpit and is powered by a single 100 hp (75 kW) Rotax 912 iS engine driving a three-bladed pusher propeller. Dornier-style sponsons provide hydrodynamic stability, housing the retracted main landing gear, and act as a step for crew and passenger. The wings can be folded aft for ground transport and storage.[5] Equipment includes an angle of attack indicator, an unusual feature in general aviation aircraft. An airframe ballistic parachute is optional.[3]


ICON A5 with its wings folded for transport

A prototype was constructed from 2007 to 2008, and made its first flight in July 2008. In January 2009, the company announced completion of the first phase (27 flights) of a three-phase testing program, including water handling. In February 2009, the prototype entered the second phase of testing to refine aerodynamic and handling qualities.[6] In 2011, an updated "spin-resistant" wing was flight tested, and finished in February 2012. The design meets FAR Part 23 type certified requirements by employing a cuffed wing with multiple proprietary airfoils which change along the wing's span.[7][8][9] Lotus Engineering USA replaced BMW DesignworksUSA the same year to develop an "automotive style" aircraft interior and assist with development of lightweight component manufacturing.[10]

In July 2012, the company applied for a Federal Aviation Administration LSA rule exemption to raise the weight of the A5 above the maximum weight for amphibian LSAs, citing that the required structure to make the aircraft spin resistant necessitated a gross weight of 1,680 lb (762 kg). In May 2013 the FAA requested more details on the procedures used by Icon to test the spin resistance of the aircraft at the higher weight. The FAA also requested a signed statement from the company indicating that the aircraft meets the spin resistance criteria specified for light aircraft type certification in FAR 23.221 (a)(2). In July 2013 the FAA granted the weight increase.[11][12][13][14]

Production delivery dates have been adjusted from initial estimates. In June 2011, the company announced that it had procured an additional US$25 million investment, which was "needed to allow the company to complete engineering development work and enter production - possibly as early as next year [2012]."[15] By August 2011, the company stated that it had sold positions for 694 A5s, up from 400 initially sold at AirVenture 2009.[16] A promotion in conjunction with EAA Young Eagles raised more than US$28,000 for the youth flight program.[17][18]

On August 6, 2012, Icon announced that Cirrus Aircraft would produce composite airframe components for the A5 at its Grand Forks, North Dakota facility. The airframe parts will be shipped to Icon's Tehachapi, California plant for final assembly. In August 2012 the first production aircraft was anticipated for delivery in mid-2013 against 850 customer orders that the company says it was holding at that point.[19]

In December 2012, production of the tooling master molds began, with horizontal tail fin masters being delivered to Cirrus Aircraft that month. Wing skin masters were delivered in February 2013.[20]

On June 20, 2013, the company announced that it had organized production funding of over US$60 million, with final funds being provided by a Chinese investor.[13]

By July 30, 2013, the estimated production price had risen to US$189,000, from the company's initial estimated price established in 2008 of US$139,000.[3][14][21]

On October 2, 2013, the construction of production tooling was announced, which "will lead up to the assembly of the first pre-production aircraft to be completed in mid-2014."[22]

On July 27, 2014, the first production A5 was unveiled at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. This aircraft was constructed between January and June 2014 at company headquarters in Tehachapi, California, and first flew on July 7. Icon stated that two additional aircraft would be constructed to "verify performance and complete FAA approval". The company plans to begin customer delivery in May 2015.[23][24]


In the 2009 IDEA/BusinessWeek Design Awards, ICON was awarded Gold in the Transportation Design category. The competition included all cars, motorcycles, watercraft, and every other motor vehicle designed in 2008.[25] ICON was also awarded a 2009 Gold Spark Design Award and a Design Distinction in ID Magazine's Annual Design Review.[26][27][28]

  • 2008 Popular Science 100 Best Innovations of the Year[29]
  • 2009 I.D. Annual Design Review[28]
  • 2009 IDSA International Design Excellence Award Gold - Transportation[30]
  • 2009 IDSA International Design Excellence Award People's Choice Award[31]
  • 2009 Gold Spark Design Award[26]
  • 2010 Wallpaper* "Life-enhancer of the Year" Judges Award[32]
  • 2010 Red Dot Product Design Winner[33]

Notable appearances in media[edit]

Specifications (estimated)[edit]

Data from ICON Aircraft,[3] Flying,[15] General Aviation News[34]

General characteristics


See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. ^ "ICON A5 Prototype Flies". ICON Aircraft. July 15, 2008. Archived from the original on July 15, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Pilot Briefing: What's Happening in 2015?". AOPA Pilot: 32. March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Specifications". ICON Aircraft. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  4. ^ Hoffman, Carl (December 22, 2008). "The Ultimate Flying Machine: Sexy as a Sports Car, Portable as a Jet Ski". Wired. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  5. ^ Twombly, Mark (September 2008). "Making a Splash". Water Flying. p. 17. Retrieved November 28, 2010. 
  6. ^ Warwick, Graham (February 16, 2009). "Icon Flies A5 Light-Sport Amphibian". Aviation Week. p. 12. Retrieved November 28, 2010. 
  7. ^ "ICON Tests New Spin Resistant Wing on A5 Amphibian". EAA. August 4, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ Paur, Jason (February 16, 2012). "Icon Aircraft Receives First-Ever Spin-Resistance Seal of Approval". Wired. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  9. ^ Grady, Mary (February 17, 2012). "Icon A5 Meets Elusive Spin-Resistant Standard". AVweb. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  10. ^ Pope, Stephen (June 14, 2012). "Icon Aircraft Teams with Carmaker Lotus on A5 Interior". Flying. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  11. ^ Niles, Russ (July 18, 2012). "ICON Looking For Weight Exemption For A5". AVweb. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  12. ^ Niles, Russ (May 5, 2013). "FAA Wants More Information On Icon Weight Exemption". AVweb. Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Pew, Glenn (June 21, 2013). "ICON Announces Production Funding". AVweb. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Niles, Russ (July 29, 2013). "FAA Grants Icon Weight Exemption". AVweb. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Pope, Stephen (June 29, 2011). "ICON Aircraft Receives $25 Million Cash Infusion". Flying. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  16. ^ Bayerl, Robby; Berkemeier, Martin (2011). World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2011/2012. Lancaster, UK: WDLA UK. p. 59. ISSN 1368-485X. 
  17. ^ "ICON Aircraft Receives Record 143 Orders At Oshkosh". Aero News Network. August 12, 2011. Retrieved November 15, 2011. 
  18. ^ Bergqvist, Pia (July 28, 2011). "Icon Sees Success at AirVenture". Flying. Retrieved November 16, 2011. 
  19. ^ Grady, Mary (August 6, 2012). "Cirrus Will Build Icon Components". AVWeb. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Production Update, Winter 2013". ICONaircraft.com. February 20, 2013. Archived from the original on April 23, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Specifications and Features". Icon Aircraft. Archived from the original on July 1, 2008. 
  22. ^ "Production Update, 2 October 2013". Icon Aircraft. 
  23. ^ Szondy, David (July 30, 2014). "First production ICON A5 amphibian plane unveiled". Gizmag.com. Retrieved August 5, 2014. 
  24. ^ Pope, Stephen (July 29, 2014). "First Production-Ready Icon A5 Impresses". Flying. Retrieved August 5, 2014. 
  25. ^ Walters, Helen (July 29, 2009). "IDEA 2009: Designing a Better World". BusinessWeek. Retrieved November 28, 2010. 
  26. ^ a b "Spark Award Winners". Spark Awards. 2009. Retrieved November 16, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Annual Design Review 2009". I.D. 2009. Archived from the original on July 6, 2009. 
  28. ^ a b "ICON Receives Prestigious Design Awards". ICON Aircraft. 2009. Archived from the original on January 3, 2010. 
  29. ^ "Icon A5: A seaplane for beginners". Popular Science. December 8, 2008. Retrieved November 15, 2011. 
  30. ^ "5 Great Transportation Awards". BusinessWeek. 2009. Retrieved November 16, 2011. 
  31. ^ "A Year of IDEAs: 2009". IDSA.org. 2009. Retrieved November 16, 2011. 
  32. ^ "11.4 Icon A5 aircraft by Icon". Wallpaper*. 2010. Retrieved November 16, 2011. 
  33. ^ "ICON A5 Amphibisches Sportflugzeug mit faltbaren Flügeln". Red Dot. 2010. Retrieved November 16, 2011. 
  34. ^ Wood, Janice (July 12, 2012). "Icon A5 to be powered by new Rotax". General Aviation News. Retrieved July 17, 2012. 

External links[edit]