(Newsdesk) When FAA created the new Light Sport Aircraft category in 2004, a new market was open for recreational flying. Drawing inspiration from boating and sports cars and with a mission "to bring the fun and adventure back to flying," LA based ICON plan to roll out their sport plane full scale by late 2012.
In a press release today, ICON said it had a record year at the EAA AirVenture, taking deposits for an unprecedented 143 aircraft. The prototype aircraft made its first flight with the new spin-resistant wing design and is nearing the end of the aerodynamic refinement portion of the flight test program, with the last phase, spin resistance testing, scheduled to start in October.
Sadly, ICON lost one of its earliest members Scott Bender on 25 August when a truck turned in front of him as he rode his new Triumph Speedmaster motorcycle to work, just three days after his 42nd birthday. "He will be remembered as a lover of Star Wars, a paintball fanatic, all around tech junkie, and a master of the 3D computer world," states the ICON website, raising money for his children's college education.
The new Sport Pilot License restricts flying to daytime, good weather, and in uncongested airspace. As a result, new pilots can be safely trained in a matter of weeks, versus months at a $3,000-$5,000 costs. As all hours logged sport flying can be applied toward Private Pilot License, SPL is great for beginner pilots.
LA based ICON recently raised $25 million from top Silicon Valley venture capitalists. A new manufacturing facility is scheduled to integrate all company functions in one place, including both land and water-based flight training of ICON customers.
Estimated Price for ICON is $139,000 USD (standard equipment) plus CPI increase. Full-scale manufacturing is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2012 of ICON's first line of sport planes, the ICON A5. Due to pre-orders, estimated delivery date of the next available Standard A5 position is 2015.
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