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ICON A5 cockpit - Sport Planes

ICON A5 cockpit

March 4, 2022

The cockpit of an ICON A5


That assessment became quite clear as soon as we strapped into the left seat of the A5 at the dock at TJ’s Harbor Restaurant, south of Oshkosh. The quality of the carbon fiber construction, precision fit of parts and solid clunk of the canopy closing dominated our initial impressions. This is no bargain basement light sport aircraft. Fully equipped, Icon A5 runs $247, 000, far more than most other LSAs. But, subjectively, it feels as though it competes in a higher class, more Ferrari than Fiat. It’s also heavy for an LSA, weighing in at 1, 080 lb empty and taking off at 1, 510 lb with its exemption from the 1, 430 lb MTOW limit for LSA amphibians.

It’s easy to board this flying boat. The large canopy swings forward to a nearly vertical position, so there’s no need to duck your head when boarding. Just step onto the sponson and then onto the cockpit floor.

The cockpit is wide and voluminous, visibility is great and the pilot’s hands fall naturally onto the stick and throttle. The side windows are removable, so you can fly with your elbow and arm out the window as though you were buckled into a roadster. The instrumental panel is especially impressive as the angle of attack gauge is mounted at the top of the stack, directly in front of the pilot.

“Fly the wing and you fly the airplane, ” commented Hawkins. With 1, 000 hours flying Vipers, he finds it odd that all civil aircraft are designed with airspeed indicators and so few have angle of attack systems for low speed performance and stall protection. “Why be preoccupied with airspeed? The aircraft stalls on angle of attack.”

Hawkins said the flight would consist of a few “demo and do” military style training lessons, including the first water takeoff, full power-on and power-off stalls, cross control stalls and aggressive maneuvering at maximum angle of attack. We also would fly maximum performance turns at low altitude, make a few splash-and-dash touch-and-goes, and then fly some formation with second A5.

Source: aviationweek.com
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