Icon Aircraft announced on May 7 the successful test of the first A5 amphibious light sport aircraft built for a customer, with deliveries expected to begin in summer following FAA approval.
The April 24 flight of ASN-1 (aircraft serial No. 1) launched from Icon’s research-and-development facility in Tehachapi, California, with lead engineer and test pilot Jon Karkow at the controls. It was the first of a series of planned test flights for the new aircraft, which has cleared a series of hurdles in recent years.
The FAA approved Icon’s request for an exemption from the light sport aircraft weight limit in 2013, allowing up to a 250-pound increase over the LSA seaplane maximum of 1,430 pounds. Icon unveiled the first production A5 at EAA AirVenture 2014—the engineering test aircraft that flew for the first time weeks before the event.
More recently, Icon announced successful structural testing of the A5, demonstrating the airframe can handle loads in excess of the normal flight envelope. The engineering team applied weight to the wings and tail of the second engineering test aircraft, simulating up to 6 Gs of load, 150 percent of the limit—and deflecting the wing tips more than 18 inches in the process.
Icon will build the production A5 aircraft in Vacaville, California.