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ICON A5: The Aircraft

Who designed the A5?

The ICON engineering team worked in concert with some of the world’s top automotive and product designers to create the A5. Every detail on the A5 was carefully thought through to create what we believe is likely the world’s first true “consumer product aircraft.” The first phase was completed in-house. The second phase involved numerous designers from some of the world’s top car brands, including BMW, Porsche, Rolls Royce, and others. The final detailed phase was completed by Nissan’s renowned Advanced Design Studio, creator of the award-winning 370Z sports car. Troy Lee Designs, the leader in motorsports racing design, applied final aesthetic touches and graphics.

Why did ICON use car designers?

ICON turned to the auto industry where the market is extremely sensitive to aesthetic design, and products can fail or succeed based solely on the quality of their aesthetics. Automotive designers are trendsetters in ergonomics, styling, comfort, and functionality and know how to address the challenges to bring all four areas together for a modern and more positive user experience.

The A5 cockpit is very unique. What was the philosophy behind this design?

The A5’s cockpit was designed to appeal to both the most advanced pilots and newest pilots alike. Since sport flying is intended primarily for daytime recreational flying in good weather, the cockpit does not need to be complex. ICON’s philosophy in regards to cockpit instrumentation is to optimize the essential information the pilot needs for rapid assimilation of flight-critical data in a reliable, intuitive, and aesthetically pleasing package. By removing non-essential instrumentation, the panel allows the pilot to safely fly the aircraft and enjoy the flying experience, keeping focus where it belongs: outside the aircraft.

What is the construction of the A5?

The airframe is lightweight, high-strength composite material comprised of carbon fiber that is corrosion resistant, which is preferred for amphibious planes and seaplanes.

What is meant by “amphibian” – can the A5 land on both land and water?

Yes. The A5 is amphibious, so it can land and takeoff from either water or land due to the boat hull design and retractable landing gear.

How many passengers can the A5 carry?

According to FAA rules, an LSA is limited to the pilot and one passenger.

Does ICON have plans to produce a 4-seat aircraft?

ICON has no immediate plans to introduce a 4-seat aircraft. ICON was founded in response to the creation of the LSA category, which permits only two seats and does not require the expensive and time-consuming FAR 23 certification process of larger aircraft. This certification process is part of the reason why so many mainstream aircraft have remained fundamentally unchanged for decades. At this time, ICON’s resources are fully devoted to the development and production of the A5, so a 4-seat aircraft is not part of the immediate plans.

What is the fuel capacity of the A5?

Twenty (20) U.S. gallons.

Is there an option for increased fuel capacity?

At this time ICON has no plans for additional fuel capacity beyond the internal 20-gallon tank.

What is the “useful load” of the A5?

The A5’s useful load (people + luggage + fuel) is estimated to be 430 pounds. Final specification data will be released following the FAA approval currently scheduled for late-2014.

What instrumentation and avionics are included in the standard configuration?

For this and other information please visit our specifications page for the latest preliminary specification information.

Can the Garmin 796 be loaded with marine and driving maps?

No, the Garmin 796 database does not currently include road or maritime maps.

Why did ICON choose to include an angle of attack (AoA) indicator?

An angle of attack indicator provides the pilot with a direct indication of the wing’s performance, as measured by the angle between the aircraft’s longitudinal axis relative wind. Since a wing stalls at the same angle of attack regardless of airspeed or weight, the pilot is able to rapidly assess wing performance during any phase of flight simply by referencing the AoA indicator. This capability is particularly useful during landing and maneuvering.

Why doesn’t the A5 have a Vertical Speed Indicator (VSI)?

FAA LSA specifications do not require a VSI. However, the Garmin 796 does provide a GPS-derived electronic VSI “tape” display.

Can the A5 be flown at night?

FAA regulations do allow for a private pilot to fly an LSA at night, if properly equipped. With the night lighting package, the A5 is legal for night VFR flight operations.

What lighting is available on the A5?

The A5 comes standard with a full lighting package that allows it to be flown at night by appropriately licensed pilots. The two lighting units on the forward fuselage each include landing and taxi lights, while position and strobe lights are mounted on the wing tips. The A5 uses rearward-facing lights on the trailing edges of the wings, eliminating the need for lights on the tail and aft fuselage. All exterior lighting units on the A5 use LEDs, which are more compact, lighter weight, more energy efficient, and generate less heat than conventional lights.

Will the A5 be approved for IFR flight?

At this time, there are no plans to offer the A5 in an IFR-equipped model.

Are all instruments electric? Is there a vacuum pump?

All flight instruments in the A5 are either electric or pitot-static (pneumatic). The A5 does not have a vacuum pump.

What is the landing gear made of and how does it work?

The main landing gear legs are composite and are interconnected. Both main gear legs are operated by the same actuator, ensuring that they always extend and retract together. The nose gear is fully castering and self-centering to ensure the wheel is always correctly positioned when the gear is retracted. All wheels are anodized aluminum with sealed stainless steel bearings.

Does the A5 have a shimmy damper?

Yes.

What are the tire dimensions of the A5?

Main: 500-5
Nose: 10×3.5-4

Can the windows be removed? Is it possible to remove them during flight?

Yes, the side windows are removable. The windows should not be removed while airborne for safety reasons.

What is the noise level in the cockpit with the windows removed?

Flight tests conducted to date have revealed that cockpit noise levels do not change significantly with the windows removed.

What is the expected glide ratio?

ICON’s engine-out flight testing has shown that the glide ratio of the A5 is approximately 10:1, similar to other aircraft of its size and weight. In an unlikely engine-out situation, the A5 will glide like a typical light airplane to allow the pilot to maneuver the aircraft for an emergency landing at the most suitable airport, field, waterway, or roadway.

What is the max crosswind component for the A5?

ICON is currently planning on a max demonstrated crosswind limit of 15kts.

Are there provisions for adjusting the seating position? Will I fit in the A5?

The rudder pedals adjust fore and aft to accommodate various pilot height dimensions. The A5 was designed to accommodate pilots from the 50th percentile female to the 95th percentile male. This translates into a 42.6″ head clearance (distance from the compressed seat cushion to the headliner). People as tall as 6′5″ (196cm) have fit comfortably in the A5, but it will depend on the build and torso length of the individual.

How are the flight controls actuated in the A5?

The A5 uses a combination of cables and push rods, taking advantage of each one’s strengths in various locations. Self-lubricated or sealed ball bearings are employed to reduce maintenance needs and weight. The elevator has an electric trim tab.