Development of the Icon A5 light sport amphibious aircraft is on track despite a nine-month delay in production caused by current economic conditions and the need to find more funding, Icon CEO Kirk Hawkins said at Oshkosh, where the aircraft made its official public debut.
Although orders—each with a $5,000 fully refundable deposit held in escrow—stand at more than 400, Hawkins has had to develop a growing company as well as a flight test program for the new aircraft (see Fred George’s blog on the technical challenges here in Business Aviation).
“The funding of the next round is now complete, and we are well capitalized through to production” he said.
The amphibious Icon A5 made its public debut at Oshkosh.
The first production aircraft will be delivered in the third quarter of 2011. However, Hawkins is considering closing the order book “as we already have several years’ backlog” worth over $40 million, he said.
Hawkins has marketed the $140,000 A5 not as an aircraft but as a lifestyle. “If you’re looking for a plane that inspires you like a sports car, this is it. It’s all about getting out and interacting with the world.” That he is succeeding is suggested by fully one third of the aircraft’s orders coming from non-pilots.
And it’s attracting old and young alike. “One customer wrote that he is almost 80 years old and could we please hurry up!” Hawkins said.