Saturday, December 13, 2008

Fly Away

The Icon A5 is a soon-to-be-released fun seaplane that "only" runs what a decent house goes for these days. Innovations include folding wings for garage storage and a simplified flight control layout. The A5 fits into the 2004 Light Sport Aircraft category, so only 20 hours of flight time are required to earn a license to fly her. The A5 has a 100 hp engine and max take-off weight of 1430 lbs.


Jenny said...

Hunh.. neat. There's a couple older variations on the same "floating fuselage" concept sitting over at Merrill. They seem less popular than conventional craft on floats, but some of that might be an Alaska thing - a goodly chunk of the year folk have to move over to skis if they plan any lake landings. Not a problem in Georgia I imagine. :)

J.R.Shirley said...

This is a Sport Aircraft. I personally wondered if it was sturdy and capable enough for Alaska.

Jenny said...

Miss D could say more - the Taylorcraft we're rebuilding falls into LSA territory, so that's how she's certifying it I believe. Prolly the way I'll end up going ticketwise myself, actually.

I think the sticking point up here wouldn't be sturdiness, but (aside from its cost) the fact that it's limited to water landings. Well, that and that the inside looks so pretty paneled.

At least from what I've seen so far, most working Alaskan planes are basically the bush's answer to farm trucks. The niceties - sometimes to include the entire electrical system - are yanked out to increase payload. Tailwheels, high wings and big tires to handle rough (or nonexistent) strips in the backcountry are the standard. There's a few of the sleek low-wing "sportscar" planes up here, but they're a definite minority compared to old Super Cubs, Champs, T/Cs, and similar fabric-covered taildraggers of that era... and the ubiquitous Cessnas of course.

I'd not be surprised if Icon sold a few up here, but they'd most like be going to the same doctor-and-lawyer weekend-playtime set as down there I imagine. Even then, looking around the tiedowns at the local airfield, I'd guess their tastes run pretty much the same as the pros.

J.R.Shirley said...

Price is around $130K. I also wonder if 100hp is enough for Alaska. I'd like some power in reserve.