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First Flight Pelton Samples the A5

By James Wynbrandt

July 19, 2015 - At 10 a.m. Monday at Booth 162-182 Icon Aircraft will present EAA with an Icon A5, the newly certified amphibious light-sport aircraft (LSA) first unveiled here at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008.

Sunday July 19, EAA Chairman Jack Pelton flew a demo flight in the aircraft with Icon Founder and CEO Kirk Hawkins. The experience left him still aglow when he shared his impressions with AirVenture Today.

“It’s just remarkable–I was blown away,” Pelton said. The former CEO of Cessna Aircraft, Pelton noted that he’s familiar with the challenges of designing and building aircraft.

“What I was really impressed with were the flight characteristics,” he said.

“It’s incredibly balanced–a really good, harmonized feel on the controls. I felt like I was flying a much heavier airplane than an LSA.” He also marveled that the aircraft seemed impossible to stall.

“The number one safety problem in our industry is loss of control,” he said. “They’ve taken that off the table.”

The A5's water handling also impressed Pelton. “I’ve flown a lot of amphibians, and they’re all designed with the water portion being secondary,” Pelton said. “And I own boats. They clearly have gone to the boat world and gotten a hull that performs incredibly on water, like a high-end, well-designed boat.”

Pelton said the mechanism for unlocking and locking the folding wings to trailer the A5 is “incredibly simple,” and, “The fit and finish inside is remarkable.”

Icon incorporated an angle of attack (AOA) indicator as a critical instrument, configured to help pilots establish the proper attitude for water landings in the two-seat aircraft. “It’s right on the indicator mark.

“Someone who doesn’t have any water experience will be comfortable” operating on the water,” Pelton said. “It exceeded my expectations.”

 

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