Icon Aircraft has increased the gross weight of its A5 light sport aircraft, allowing new-build A5s to carry more fuel and giving the type 2h more flight endurance.

The California-based manufacturer disclosed the performance improvement on 28 February, saying the gross weight of all A5s manufactured in 2024 will be 27kg (60lb) more than the type’s previous baseline gross weight.

“With the A5 burning less than 5 gallons of fuel per hour, this equates to an additional 2h of endurance or the ability to carry more baggage or heavier passengers,” Icon says. “All 2024 Icon A5 light sport aircraft will include this weight increase, and the solution can also be retrofitted on previous models.”

ICON A5 Land Ops_03

Source: Icon Aircraft

The upgrade involves equipping A5s with four-blade propellers made by French firm E-Props. The new propeller allows the aircraft to take off in 21% less distance than A5s with previously standard three-blade propellers.

Icon rolled out the update after “two years of rigorous R&D, testing and production preparation,” it says.

The company has been on a recent roll with its A5, an amphibious two-seat aircraft with folding wings.

The Federal Aviation Administration categorises A5s as light sport aircraft. But because some countries, including Canada, lack the light-sport category, Icon’s ability to sell A5s outside the USA had been limited.

In December last year, however, the FAA granted the A5 a type certification in the primary category, clearing the way for expanded international sales. The primary-category version, called the A5 Certified Edition, has the same performance specifications as other A5s.

Powered by single Rotax 912 four-stroke piston engines with a pusher props, A5s have range exceeding 420nm (778km) and maximum speed of 95kt (175km/h), according to Icon. The aircraft also have Garmin G3X Touch avionics.