Sport enthusiasts are waiting for their orders of a brand new amphibious light sport aircraft (LSA). A California company called ICON is getting ready to ship the A5, a plane that shows just how far sport aircraft technology has come.
The Latest Amphibious Aircraft
According to one industry review article in Boing Boing, it looks like it was “designed by Apple or Tesla: sleek, confident, lightweight, and thoroughly 21st century.” The plane seems perfect for wealthy, adventurous types that would get a big thrill out of having their own personal ultralight aircraft for impromptu trips. Wired reported that it is an unusual new breed of plane, one that the US Federal Aviation Authority recently issued a special-light sport aircraft (S-LSA) certificate for earlier this year after an audit of the start-up company’s facilities. Now, ICON is well on its way and set to deliver planes to 1,250 customers who have placed pre-orders. The base price tag of each plane? $189,000 USD.
The ICON A5 project has been nearly a decade in the making. The company is emphasizing how safety, easiness, fun, versatility and style is incorporated in its design.
Flying an LSA
Light sport aircraft is small aircraft that is simple to fly. It must meet certain regulations set by a country’s national aviation authority restricting weight and performance. For example, The US Federal Aviation Administration defines light-sport aircraft this way:
Does not exceed 1,320 pounds.
Can reach speeds up to 138 mph and have a maximum stalling speed of 51 mph.
Seats two and is powered by one engine.
Has fixed propellers and landing gear.
In the US, the sport-pilot certificate was introduced a decade ago. Since then LSAs have had a bit of cautious indifference. In a recently analysis in Plane and Pilot magazine, the whole idea of light sport aircraft was viewed with suspicion, at first, because of the chance of accidents and new designs that seemed cobbled together. The suspicion was similar to how ultralight aircraft were viewed as dangerous toys for “amateur” pilots in the 1970s. The argument on behalf of LSAs today is that the US Federal Aviation Authority has created a different definition for ultralight aircraft. Now LSAs are growing in popularity, finding a coveted spot in the hearts of many aviators.
Sports and Sky
LSAs are ideal for sport pilots. They are easy-to-fly and to maintain and designs are getting better, such as the ICON A5. LSAs are being flown over oceans, deserts, mountain ranges and other types of terrain. LSA’s are proving to open new adventures across the globe.
Would you love to fly an LSA like the ICON A5 somewhere in Greece’s diverse landscape? Where would you take it for a ride?