Icon A5 Meets Elusive Spin-Resistant Standard

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The Icon A5 amphibious light sport aircraft has met a spin-resistant standard beyond what is required for its certification, the company said on Thursday. Under the LSA standards, aircraft must be either "spin recoverable" or "spin resistant." The A5 has met the criteria for "spin resistant," which are spelled out in Part 23, the rules that apply to certified aircraft. "This milestone will make the A5 the first production aircraft in history to be designed to and completely comply with the FAA's full-envelope Part 23 spin-resistance standards, developed from NASA's work on the topic," the company said. Icon engineers met the standard by creating a cuffed wing design that uses multiple proprietary airfoils across the span of the wing.

"Other production aircraft have attempted to achieve spin resistance to the Part 23 standard, but no conventional production aircraft without canards has ever completely succeeded, due to the sheer complexity of this problem," said Matthew Gionta, Icon Aircraft VP of engineering. "Although there are other aircraft that have incorporated some spin-resistance characteristics, such as the Ercoupe, Jetcruzer, Cirrus SR20/22, and Cessna Corvalis, the A5 will be unique for being the only production aircraft in history to be designed to and completely comply with the full-envelope Part 23 spin-resistance standard." The Part 23 criteria for spin resistance can be found here, under "(2) At the applicant's option, the airplane may be demonstrated to be spin resistant by the following ...". Details of Icon's spin-resistance testing can be found here.