Kate Sarsfield/London

ICON Aircraft has secured $25 million in financing from a clutch of private investors, paving the way for the US sport aircraft manufacturer to complete development of its A5 amphibian and launch production of the two-seat light sport aircraft.

The latest round of investment is a welcome fillip for ICON, based in Los Angeles, California, which has been forced to postpone first delivery of the A5 twice, blaming "unprecedented challenges in the capital markets in the last two years" for the delay.

Flight testing of the Rotax 912-powered aircraft is almost complete, ICON said, "and we are working at full throttle toward first delivery".

Full-scale manufacturing is scheduled to start next year and the company is now looking for a base to house a purpose-built 120,000ft2 (11,148m2) facility.

A5 amphibian (c) Icon 
 A spin-resistant wing will be installed on the test A5 this year

"This location will integrate our manufacturing, corporate, engineering, sales, final assembly and land and water-based flight training for A5 owners," ICON said.

A shortlist of locations will be announced later this month at the AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Meanwhile, ICON is testing and fabricating the A5's new spin-resistant wing, which will be installed on the test aircraft later this quarter.

Despite tough trading conditions, ICON has already secured about 500 orders for the A5.

 See the A5 amphibian in action

Source: Flight International