ICON Sport Aircraft

By: on March 09, 2013
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An airplane with the cockpit of a Lotus sports car that can float or fly at the behest of a pilot without a true pilot's license. The ICON sounds like a terrific idea! Apparently in 2004 the FAA did something inconceivable: it lessened its restrictions on aircraft categorization and created the Light Sport Aircraft designation for adrenaline junkies jonesing to do some weekend air wheelies in a two-seater with wings. The ICON aims to "democratize" aviation with a functional, accessible (well, price notwithstanding) float plane that requires only a Sport Pilot's license to commandeer. You can look up the specifics of Sport Pilot license acquisition yourself, but I will tell you that its creation was an answer to the call of consumers eager to do a little recreational flying. To me, that suggests that any jackass can get one with moderate to minimal effort.

Once certified and cozy inside the ICON A5's streamlined cockpit--only knobs and buttons essential to aircraft maneuvering and safety are installed--fliers can choose to take off from either land or water and tool around above the trees and tiny people below, reveling in a traffic-free joyride through the sky.

ICON specs include a maximum speed of 120 mph and maximum range of 555 km. It measures 23' long and 7.1' high, with a wingspan of 34'. Other features include folding wings, retractable landing gear, Seawings platforms for easy access and docking, and an engine that runs on either automobile or airplane gasoline.