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Developed by ICON Aircraft, A5 is an American amphibious light-sport aircraft that has an automotive-style interior jointly developed with Lotus. It seats two people in an enclosed cockpit, powered by a single 100 horsepower Rotax 912 iS engine driving a three-bladed pusher propeller and is able to run on aviation fuel, as well as normal gasoline you can buy from the gas station.
The amphibious light-sport airplane has been in the works since 2006, a concept aircraft has flown in 2008 and soon first deliveries will be made. The company was founded by Kirk Hawkins, a former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and a graduate of Stanford Business School and explores new standards for light sport aircrafts.
ICON A5 has foldable wings, light weight having a carbon fiber airframe and retractable undercarriage. Dornier-style sponson provide hydrodynamic stability, housing the retracted main landing gear, and act as a step for crew and passenger. Equipment includes an angle of attack indicator, an unusual feature in general aviation aircraft. Lotus Engineering USA engineers collaborated with ICON's designers to create the structural design and manufacturing concept of the A5's interior.
The 2-seat airplane has a maximum takeoff weight of 1, 510 pounds (684 kgs) and a maximum speed of 105 knots (120 mph / 193 km/h). Its 22 ft (6.7 m) long, 7.1 ft (2.16 m) tall and its wingspan is 34 ft (10.4 m). It ranges 345 miles (556 km) and it weights 900-1, 000 pounds (408-454 kg) when it’s empty.
In the 2009 IDEA/Business Week 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. The company was also awarded a 2009 Gold Spark Design Award and a Design Distinction in ID Magazine’s Annual Design Review.
According to Fast Life Luxury, the company holds more than 1, 000 orders for the A5, which is estimated to start at $189, 000 (EUR 139, 000), with first deliveries expected to begin by the end of the year.