Icon Delivers Six Aircraft
Icon Aircraft hopes to deliver 15 aircraft by the end of this year and ramp up to 200 for 2018. In an interview at AirVenture 2017, CEO Kirk Hawkins said six aircraft have been delivered to customers who have so far been pleased with the aircraft. “Customers love it,” said Hawkins, who added that resumption of deliveries is a significant milestone for the company. The company suspended production 18 months ago when it became apparent that its production goal of 200 a year from its Vacaville, California, assembly plant was overly optimistic because it was plagued by supply-chain problems from third party suppliers, particularly in composite parts. “We took that back in-house,” he said. A new 300,000-square-foot composites facility in Tijuana recently came online and the first airplane using parts from the Mexican plant will be delivered in September.
Along the way, the company has identified small design modifications that make the aircraft easier to build. The new aircraft will be designated as 2018 models. He said the company has a backlog of 1800 orders but will increase production based on new demand from the market. He said it’s gratifying to finally have some revenue coming into the company instead of it pouring out and he’s pleased with the reception from customers. While waiting for the production facilities, the company focused on training position holders and has put 125 customers through the course. "We have an airplane factory and a pilot factory," Hawkins said.