Until recently, flying an airplane recreationally has been a fanciful notion; an aspiration inhibited by various complexities. For many, a lack of options in high-performance leisure aircraft, the time it takes to earn a pilot’s licence and other intricacies have clouded the reality of taking flight.
The ICON A5 is a Light Sport Aircraft, a new category of aircraft that makes recreational aviation awe-inspiringly accessible. Its accompanying Sport Pilot License requires half the cost and training of typical licenses, allowing aspiring pilots to fly without hindrance. The A5 is designed specifically for those longing to satisfy a sense of adventure, with an emphasis on affordability, lightweight composition and ease of operation.
The A5 is an amphibious aircraft; its retractable landing gear allows for use on land or on water. The airframe is constructed of high-strength, lightweight carbon fiber, for the ultimate in durability and performance. Its top-notch, 100 hp Rotax 912 ULS engine runs on auto or aviation fuel and carries its passengers at speeds of up to 120 m.p.h. and heights of up to 15,000 feet. Impressively, A5’s high-performance wings can be folded down in minutes, making the 22 ft.-long plane simple to transport and store.
With all the comfort of a high-end automobile, the two-seat cockpit features smart ergonomics, interior styling and unbelievable creature comforts. The high-visibility of the bubble-shaped, wrap-around canopy offers welcome safety and enjoyment.
A5‘s flight instruments are intuitive and easy-to-read; all important dials are found in the easy-access Smart Instrument Cluster. An overhead console keeps safety controls close at-hand and the GPS moving map lets the pilot know where they are relative to terrain, roads, airspace and weather. An MP3 port and sliding windows make for an open-air flying experience unlike any other.
The ICON A5 begins at US$ 139,000, www.iconaircraft.com.