Unless you are living under a rock or you have failed to pay your internet provider for the last few years now, you may have heard of the ICON A5. This amphibious Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) is a game changer. No longer needing runways, you can simply take off from a grass field, lake, river or ocean.

The A5 is classified as an LSA which means it can be legally flown with a Sport Pilot License which can be obtained in just a few weeks. Imagine how you too can live the Icon life. If you are not a pilot yet, you can literally be flying the A5 in as little as a few months’ time.

ICON Aircraft YouTube Video

What is so great about this aircraft and what makes ICON's A5 so easy to fly? This aircraft gives you the best of both worlds, with the sleekness of a sports car, but the experience of seaplane flying. of a For everyone who loves the numbers – here are the technical specifications of this aircraft:

ICON A5 Specifications

Seats: Two

Maximum Takeoff Weight: 1510 lbs. (686.4 kg)

Takeoff Distance: 640 feet 

Landing Distance: 590 feet, 700 water

Fuel: 91 Octane Auto Gas or 100LL Aviation Gas

Maximum Speed (Vh): 95 KCAS (109 mph) (176 kph)

Range: 427nm (45 min reserve) 

Engine: Rotax 912 (100 hp) 

Interior Cockpit Width: 46 in (116.8 cm)

Maximum Takeoff Weight: 1,510 lbs.

Useful Load: 430-550 lbs.

Baggage Weight: 60 lbs.

Wingspan: 34.8 ft (10.61 m)

Aircraft Length: 23 ft (7.01 m)

Aircraft Height: 8.1 ft (2.47 m)

Now that we have all the specs out of the way, let’s jump into what makes the A5 so unique.

Characteristics of the A5

  • Amphibious: Sporting sleek retractable landing gear, the A5 allows for landings and takeoffs from both land and water. With its unique landing gear, you can taxi from the ground and into the water prior to retracting the gear and cleaning up the aircraft for a water take off.
  • Folding Wings: Simple to extend and takes only one person. This is useful for travel and storage.
  • Portable: Folding wings mean you can legally trailer this aircraft on any road and highway. You can store your A5 in your garage and trailer it to the airfield instead of renting hangar space or paying tie-down fees.
  • Visibility: Because the engine is mounted above and behind the cockpit, you get an amazing panoramic view from the cockpit.
  • Windows: Windows are removable so you can experience flight like the days of old.
  • Seawings: Platforms just outside below and outside the cockpit providing stability on the water. They also allow a platform to stand on for conducting service and maintenance.

Things that make this airplane safe

There is no doubt that this is a safe airplane. With years of research behind them, ICON designed the A5 with both safety and ease of flyability in mind. In addition to a solid design, ICON added some unique safety features that you won’t see on other aircraft.

Three of the unique safety features on the A5 are: The Angle of Attack Instrument, a game changing spin-resistant airframe construction – the first of its kind in the light sport category, and the Icon Parachute System.

The Angle of Attack (AoA) Instrument

Unique to the A5 is the angle-of-attack Instrument. Positioned just on top of the instruments it’s in easy view for the pilot. The angle-of-attack indicator tells you how close the wing is to stalling.

This simple yet important piece of information allows for the pilot to make a quick reference and see where they are operating at within the airframe performance envelope.

ICON Aircraft YouTube Video 2Spin-Resistance Airframe (SRA)

Four key design elements make ICON's A5 a spin-resistant airframe. While other types of aircraft have previously been built to be spin resistant, ICON's A5 is the very first light sport aircraft to integrate these features.

  1. Wing Cuff: Located on the leading edge, it separates the wing into two distinct parts. These two parts have different air foils. The outer leading edge is drooped which allows it to remain in flight and continue generating lift after the inboard portion of the wing has stalled. This allows the airframe to have a progressive stall.
  2. Ailerons: Like the Wing Cuff, the ailerons are located on the outboard portion of the wing, thus allowing the pilot to have full roll control when near or at stall speed.
  3. Wing Flaps: SRA aircraft are made so that they resist entering into spins with both flaps up and a flaps down configuration. Like normal flaps, they provide increased lift and slower airspeeds which assist with water takeoffs.
  4. Planing Wingtips: If you look at the wings on the A5, you’ll notice that they have flat surfaces on the bottom. This helps the wings skim along the surface of the water when it may be rough. The second reason for planing wingtips is to provide hydrostatic stability when not in motion.

ICON Parachute System (IPS)

The A5 has its own proprietary parachute system called the Icon Parachute System (IPS) which is based off whole airplane recovery parachute systems.

Whole airplane recovery parachute systems (WARPS) are ballistic parachutes that can be deployed on damaged light aircraft.

The ballistic recovery system consists of a parachute that is ejected out of a tube mounted to the airframe. When the chute deploys, it slows the plane’s descent. This helps minimize damage to the aircraft and protects the pilot and passenger.

A5 Training YouTube VideoICON Aircraft Training

How do you get ready to reach for the skies in your very own A5?

If you are not a pilot yet, the ICON company can set you up to earn your Sport Pilot Certificate. The requirements to obtain a Sport Pilot Certificate may vary with the type of aircraft you plan to fly.

According to the FAA, to obtain a Sport Pilot Certificate, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 17 years of age.
  • Possess a currently valid Airman Medical Certificate or a state-issued driver's license.
  • Be able to read, write, and speak the English language.
  • Be able to prove U.S. citizenship or nationality, or else comply with TSA procedures for alien flight training eligibility.
  • Compete the following flight training as a student pilot training under a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) or Certified Flight Instructor - Light Sport (CFI-LS):
    • A minimum of 20 hours flight time, that includes:
      • Fifteen hours of dual flight instruction with an instructor.  
      • Five hours of solo flight time
      • Two hours dual cross-country with a CFI
      • One solo cross-country flight
      • Three hours of test prep instruction
  • Pass the FAA Sport Pilot Knowledge Test, also known as the written exam.
  • Pass the FAA Sport Pilot Practical Test that consists of an oral and flight test.

If you already hold a private pilot license, ICON's facility offers a transition course that will have you enjoying an amazing flying experience in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do you need a pilot's license to fly an ICON A5?

    Yes, the ICON A5 is considered an LSA, anyone holding a Sport Pilot License (SPL) or higher can fly an LSA.

  • How fast is the ICON A5?

    95 KCAS (109 mph) (176 kph)

  • How far can an ICON A5 fly?

    427nm (45 min reserve)

  • What does the ICON A5 cost?

    According to Wikipedia, you can become an ICON owner of a fully equipped A5 for approximately US$389,000. However, it's best to contact an ICON sales rep for accurate pricing.

  • Can ICON A5 land on grass?

    The A5 is an amphibious aircraft that requires very little runway, so it can land and take off from either water, smooth grass, paved surfaces, dirt, or gravel.

  • Where can I learn to fly an aircraft?

    ICON has flight schools where you can learn how to fly a A5 at the ICON Flight Center in Tampa, FL or Vacaville, CA

Takeaways

ICON's A5 is a revolutionary light aircraft built with a focus on safety and ease of flight. Its amphibious nature means you can take off and land on either water or land. The A5 has foldable wings and is portable using a trailer.

Unique features like the Angle of Attack Instrument, the spin-resistant air-frame and the ICON Parachute System set the A5 apart from other light sport aircraft.

One more great thing about the 5 is that you only need a Sport Pilot Certificate to fly it. It only takes a minimum of 20 hours of flight time to earn this certificate. That means you can go from drooling over an A5 to being in the pilot’s seat in just a couple of months.

Want to learn about different aircraft?

Our guides provide everything you need to know.

Did you find this article helpful?

Do you think we missed anything important? Let us know in the comments below!

Aircraft ownershipEducation

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

Featured products

ASA Airman Knowledge Testing Supplement - Sport, Recreational, Remote and Private Pilot
ASA
🔥 Hurry Only 3 left!
ASA Airman Knowledge Testing Supplement - Sport, Recreational, Remote and Private Pilot
Sale price$6.99 USD Regular price$8.00 USD
In stock
ASA Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
ASA
ASA Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
Sale price$29.99 USD Regular price$32.95 USD
Sold out
ASA Standard Pilot Logbook (Navy)
ASA
ASA Standard Pilot Logbook (Navy)
Sale price$10.99 USD Regular price$14.95 USD
In stock

Latest Blog Posts

View all
How to Decide if Being an Airline Pilot is Right for You

How to Decide if Being an Airline Pilot is Right for You

Airlines
Becoming an airline pilot is the ultimate dream for many flight students. Along with the thrill of traveling on a daily basis, there is also the financial security that comes with the job. Let's examine the airline pilot pros and cons to determine if it lines up with your personal goals and interests.
How to Become a Helicopter Pilot (Step-By-Step Guide)

How to Become a Helicopter Pilot (Step-By-Step Guide)

Helicopter

Almost everyone looks up when they hear a helicopter flying overhead, right? There’s a certain mystique about helicopters and the people who pilot them. Helicopters are fast, they’re agile and they can get into places that a fixed wing aircraft couldn’t hope to. Helicopter pilots conduct search and rescue operations, they airlift wounded military members out of hot zones, they provide aerial reconnaissance, civilian medical transport and more.

Breaking Down Everything in the Cessna 172 Cockpit

Breaking Down Everything in the Cessna 172 Cockpit

Aircraft

Are you curious about the inner workings of a Cessna 172 cockpit? In this guide we’ll take your through each control and instrument to boost your cockpit awareness. If you're just starting flight training as a student pilot or preparing for a checkout in a new aircraft with your instructor, this guide will help you become a knowledgeable and confident pilot.