Icon Announces 60-Pounds’ More Useful Load For Its A5 Amphibian LSA

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Icon Aircraft announced yesterday (Feb. 27) it has increased the maximum gross weight of its A5 amphibian, and as a result, its useful load is now 490 pounds—a boost of 60 pounds. All 2024 model A5s include the gross weight increase, as well as the previously optional four-blade E-Props lightweight propeller. The weight increase can also be retrofitted to existing A5s, according to Icon.

Icon said the weight increase equates to two hours’ additional endurance (fuel burn is 5 gallons per hour) “or the ability to carry more baggage or heavier passengers.” In addition to additional weight savings compared with the older three-blade prop, the new E-Props propeller improves ground takeoff performance by 21%, according to the Vacaville, California-based manufacturer.

Jerry Meyer, Icon CEO, said, “In response to feedback from our owners and prospective customers, we elected to undertake further research and development to test the airframe and fully understand what we needed to do to increase useful load. The solution is a reinforcement of our commitment to innovation. And a 60-pound increase is significant, especially in the [light sport aircraft] category.”

Pricing for the 2024 Icon A5 Limited Edition starts at $409,000. Garmin G3X Touch avionics are available as an upgrade.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Icon already got a weight break and still gets to claim it meets Light Sport Aircraft rules. How does the FAA, sorry, ASTM reconcile the increase in gross weight?

    • Allowances are made on a case-by-case basis. An amphib gets a break, adding a parachute gets a break. There are many regs with many exceptions.

    • MONEY is how. On my plane I tried to get approval for an adjustable prop that I would label “Do Not Adjust in flight” and could not get it. They go way over Gross for Light Sport and Carbon Cub can Have A Light Sport with TOO much power and just a label that you cant use it continuously. It’s all about Money. ICON was 250lbs over the LSA gross limit of 1430 Lbs before this. You or I can’t build a plane that heavy and call it LSA compatible.

  2. Just a guess, but this is useful load, not gross weight. The rules haven’t changed yet (fingers still crossed for MOSAIC).

  3. confusing because the article headline is::
    “Icon Announces 60-Pounds’ More Useful Load For Its A5 Amphibian LSA”
    but later uses Gross Weight and useful load.

    Maybe their gross weight was below LSA limits before.. ?

    Reply

    • Icon is already over the 1430 lb “seaplane” limit for LSAs due to apparently successful lobbying. They advertised “max takeoff weight” as 1510 lbs before their 60 lb increase to “useful load”. My point is if they are already over the max gross stated in the rules, an increase in useful load should deduct from the weight they have been granted by special exemption to bring their product more in line with the regs others are following.

      • Icon was issued an FAA exemption for the A5 that resulted in an approved gross weight of 1680 pounds. The A5 was sold with a gross weight of 1510. It appears that Icon has increased the gross weight to 1570 to achieve the 60 pound increase in useful load. The 1570 is still within the original 1680 pound exemption. I assume that Icon did further testing/analysis that showed performance requirements can be met at the higher gross weight.

        The regs include exemptions that anyone can apply for. So, Icon is following the regs others are following. Icon incorporated safety features into the A5 design (e.g. spin resistance) that are not required by the regs but increased the weight of the aircraft. The FAA recognized this and approved the weight exemption.

  4. As Icon announced (link now added) the increase is to the maximum gross weight. Since empty weight (which varies as each aircraft is equipped) is at least theoretically unchanged, that translates to increased useful load.

  5. Just to catch everybody up, Icon’s A5 has recentiy been type certified in the primary category by the FAA. So that’s how they can bump up the weights, gross, useful load, whatever.

    But they still call the A5 an LSA. If all you’ve got is a Sport Pilot ticket, are you breaking the regs if you fly a new or retrofitted-per-Icon A5 – which you bought as a LSA – because it’s now in the primary category?

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