FAA Okays Icon Production

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The FAA has given its final stamp of approval to Icon's A5 amphibious light sport aircraft, and the first customer delivery will take place July 20 at EAA AirVenture, Icon announced on Wednesday. The final FAA audit took place at the company's facility in Tehachapi, California, on June 11. "This is just the beginning for us," said company founder and CEO Kirk Hawkins in a news release. "Icon's mission is to help reinvent flying by making it more accessible to all those who dream of it. It's a very personal, heartfelt mission for our team, so this is another proud moment along that journey." The company says it has 1,250 orders in hand, and plans to deliver 60 of the airplanes in the next 12 months, and as many as 500 a year by 2017.

The all-composite A5 was granted a weight exemption from the FAA for a maximum of 1680 pounds (the regular limit for amphibious LSAs is 1430 pounds) to accommodate extra wing and tail structures required for its spin-resistant design. It has folding wings to make it easier to transport by trailer or store in a garage. The cockpit incorporates automotive styling and the company's stated goal is to "democratize aviation ... by fusing outstanding engineering with world-class consumer product design." It's powered by a Rotax 912iS, and sells for $197,000 to $250,000, depending on options. The company said it will move to its new 140,000-square-foot facility in Vacaville, California, in September for serial production.