June 20, 2013
By Jim Moore
A final round of fundraising has netted Icon Aircraft $60 million in investment capital to support “regulatory compliance” and ramp up production of the new A5, the Los Angeles-based company announced June 20.
“We are thrilled to have the support of such a distinguished and passionate group of investors,” said founder and CEO Kirk Hawkins in a news release. Icon raised those dollars from investors in North America, Europe, and, for the first time, Asia, the company noted. While not naming names, Icon reported the Asian investor is a multibillion-dollar conglomerate well established in China’s general aviation industry.
There has been no word, yet, from the FAA on Icon’s request for an exemption to the light sport aircraft weight limits. Icon cited safety benefits including a spin-resistant design in seeking a 250-pound increase to the LSA limit for amphibious aircraft. A competitor’s complaint to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) has meanwhile triggered a congressional inquiry into the weight exemption request.
Icon has collected nearly 1,000 deposits on the A5, and Hawkins thanked those early buyers for their patience amid delays, according to the news release.
“This has been a longer and more challenging journey than even we had anticipated; that said, ICON is now in a great place,” Hawkins wrote. “For everyone who has kept the faith, remained a great wingman, and waited patiently for the A5, you’re going to get the most amazing sport aircraft ever created.”
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
Light Sport Aircraft,
A state-of-the art medical facility on remote Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay serves as a lasting memorial to the late Dr. David B. Nichols’ dedication to providing medical care to the community for 30 years. Now, Nichols’ aviation legacy—flying a Cessna 182 or Robinson R44 to the island every Thursday to provide that care—is set in stone.
Daher-Socata announced that it had installed the first Garmin G600 and GTN 750 avionics in one of its 2004 TBM 700C2 airplanes.
The AOPA Medical Advisory Board is the latest group to urge quick action on the proposed FAA rule that would allow thousands more pilots to fly without the need for a third class medical certificate.
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