The ICON A5 hit the scene with a splash of sensation—and no small amount of controversy—as deliveries of the amphibious LSA began in 2014. The A5’s certification as an S-LSA hamstrung the design—a 1,510lb. gross weight and the inability to modify the design with STCs, but it also limited sales and operations abroad.
“International expansion has been a critical part of our business plan since day one,” said Jason Huang, President of ICON Aircraft. “People in the U.S. have been able to enjoy adventure flying in the ICON A5 for several years, and we will continue to produce the S-LSA version. But now we are excited to introduce the A5 to others around the world.”
Certifying the A5 will increase the design’s utility greatly. With primary certification, owners can take their A5s internationally—such as owners in the U.S. going island hopping across the Caribbean, or sampling the lakes of Canada. Many more countries recognize the primary certification as opposed to America’s LSA rules. Modifications via STC will be allowed, and the LSA gross weight limits will no longer limit the design—although at an AirVenture press briefing, company officials downplayed any meaningful weight increases in the near-term. Primary category certification means that owners will have to possess at least a Private Pilot Seaplane certificate to operate the aircraft.
Sporting a Signature Series appearance scheme in Electric Blue, Electric Green or Strata Gray, the A5 Certified Edition will come with two years of scheduled maintenance, transition flight training and a factory warranty.
With a MSRP of $399,000, the A5 Certified Edition is expected to achieve primary certification this fall. LSA models equipped with the G3x Autopilot combo will still be available for $384,000 and $359,000 with a Garmin 796 package. Standard deposit for purchasing an ICON aircraft is 20 percent of purchase price, but an AirVenture special is in effect: Sign the papers at the booth and your refundable deposit is only $20,000—and you get two years of scheduled maintenance included. ICON expects to produce 31 planes this year—all but three of which are spoken for. The company is targeting 50 deliveries for 2022.