VIDEO: Icon light sport aircraft completes first phase testing

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Icon Aircraft has completed the first phase of the Icon A5 light sport aircraft flight-testing programme. The two-seat amphibian has completed 27 flights from which "data was gathered across a wide range of speeds, gross weights, centre of gravity, flap settings, altitudes and sea states," says Icon.

A number of Federal Aviation Administration and American Society for Testing and Materials certification requirements have already been verified including stall speeds and low-speed handling parameters. "To enhance the flying experience, the A5 was designed to be flown with the side windows removed. The prototype was test flown with the windows out with no appreciable change in aircraft performance or cockpit comfort," says the Los Angeles-based developer.

 © Icon Aircraft

"The rigorous flight-testing and careful development of A5 is progressing well," says Icon founder and chief executive Kirk Hawkins. "While the successful completion of the phase I flight-testing marks an important milestone in that programme, there is still a tremendous amount of work yet to be done."

 © Icon Aircraft

Phase II of the development programme will continue throughout 2009 and is designed "to refine and optimise the aerodynamics and handling qualities".

The A5 has a lightweight carbonfibre airframe, emergency parachute recovery system and folding wings. It has an estimated maximum speed of 105kt (190km/h). The A5 is priced at $139,000 and is earmarked for service entry in late 2010.