Calling all affluent adventure seekers! If you’re in the market for a new personal aircraft, you owe it to yourself to check out the Icon A5 amphibious monoplane. The Icon A5 can not only land on both land and sea, but it also sports a revolutionary new design that makes it incredibly easy to fly. In fact, the A5 is so user-friendly that even an entirely untrained pilot should be able to fly it ― and even more impressively, land it.
The A5 is designed and manufactured to make flying your own plane as easy as possible, and that applies to several different aspects of the aircraft. Not only is the plane fully amphibious ― as Icon says, “the A5 makes your lake an airport” ― but you can also fold the wings in and transport the entire plane using Icon’s custom-built amphibious trailer to pull your aircraft behind a truck or SUV. While the Icon A5 costs $359,000, all you need up front is a fully refundable US$ 5,000 deposit, which Icon indicates will reserve your A5 “for domestic delivery in United States.”
The Icon A5’s revolutionary design simplifies the in-flight experience so much that the dashboard resembles that of a sports car far more than it looks like an airplane cockpit. This is thanks in large part to Icon’s innovative Angle of Attack indicator, which combines several traditional indicators into one convenient display. With the A5’s Angle of Attack safety system, all a pilot needs to do is keep the plane in the indicator’s green zone, which tells you whether you’re flying at a safe angle or not.
Unlike essentially every other airplane ever manufactured, the A5 does not start descending or spinning when it stalls. Instead, even if the pilot makes a series of significant mistakes that puts the A5 into a stall, this aircraft will simply hover in place. While it might seem like the plane is magically floating in the air, the A5 can actually maintain this hovering maneuver for as long as the engine doesn’t overheat.
Even if you do encounter a catastrophic emergency while piloting the Icon A5, the plane has a huge parachute onboard that is actually big enough to support the weight of the entire aircraft. While a full-plane parachute is obviously only for worst-case scenario, the A5’s spin-resistant design means that even a crash with a complete loss of pilot control is theoretically survivable.
The anti-stall/anti-spin airframe actually required a special exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration, which acknowledged that the A5’s “specific safety enhancements” were significant enough to overcome the plane’s weight, which exceeds FAA guidelines for light sport amphibious aircraft. Aside from that, the Icon A5 has pretty typical specs for a plane of this size ― the aircraft has a top speed of just over 100 mph, and it’s powered by a three-blade propeller and a 100-horsepower engine.
The convenience factor of the Icon A5 is what truly sets it apart from most other small aircraft. Thanks to the ability to fold in the plane’s wings, the A5 can fit on the back of a large yacht, making it easier than ever for yacht owners to make quick day trips to shore. In addition, the A5 expands the possibilities for private islands, as there’s no need for an airstrip on your island.
The only significant drawback to the A5’s popularity is the fact that Icon is having a difficult time keeping up with the demand for its new plane. In fact, at the beginning of 2019, Icon had only finished building around 90 A5 planes, and had 1,300 more on backorder. That said, Icon is doing everything they can to increase production, including opening their own carbon fiber composite manufacturing facility in Tijuana.
It’s hard to imagine the world of personal aircraft being any more convenient than the A5. If you can afford one (or two!), there’s really no reason not to invest in Icon’s impressive new light sport aircraft. ■