Every ounce of weight counts on an airplane—and that goes double for aircraft accepted in the light sport category. ICON Aircraft has managed to shave off roughly 8 pounds with the installation of a lightweight, four-blade prop on its A5 amphib. The savings gains the LSA a 10 to 12 percent reduction in takeoff distance, as well as producing a lower noise signature. The prop can be ordered on new models as well as be retrofitted on earlier A5s.
The prop is also being offered as part of a show special package at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh this week, along with a signature paint scheme—one of which features the new Astra Red livery design—an autopilot, and one-year subscription to SiriusXM weather. The package represents about $30,000 in savings from the regular value of the composed options.
At EAA AirVenture, FLYING sat down with ICON CEO Jerry Meyer for an update on the Part 23 type certification path the company is pursuing for the A5, which will allow it to be converted to certification in countries in which the civil aviation authority doesn’t recognize the LSA category, such as Japan and India.
“We are close to the finish line with type certification, which will help fuel ICON’s growth,” said Meyer in a statement. “International expansion remains a key strategy for our business plan. There are six type-certified planes scheduled to be delivered late this year. We have solidified agreements with distributors in South Korea and Japan and are actively pursuing others in Europe, Australia, South America, and Southeast Asia. Once type certification is complete, we anticipate that 25 to 30 percent of sales will be from outside of the U.S.”
The company delivered 36 aircraft last year, with a push in the final quarter that ended up causing it a bit of a slow start to the first month. Normally, according to Meyer, the ICON aims for a run rate of four aircraft per month, but January was a bit off as the OEM and its suppliers caught up. Still, Meyer expects to deliver 40 to 45 units in 2023.
MOSAIC also poses interesting prospects for the company and future upgrades to its products. With the increase in allowable stall speed—the A5 is right at the current 45-knot LSA limit—ICON could adapt to larger engines, including the Rotax 916iS. Because ICON already operates under one exemption—for weight—it could seek a similar path to bring upgrades to the A5 prior to execution of any rulemaking to expand the light sport category.
Want an A5 Soon?
While the company has production positions filled through March 2024, for any prospective ICON pilots wanting an earlier delivery, the company has set aside eight positions for the special ownership program offered during the show. According to a company statement, “With only eight production slots available this fall, prospective owners are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity.” Contact ICON for complete program details.