In 2004, the FAA created the new Light Sport Aircraft category and a new category of pilot license called Sports Pilot. That is when former fighter pilot Kirk Hawkins started his company ICON.
The FAA’s new specifications for “sport planes” are 2 people and are single engine aircrafts with a maximum speed of 120 knots (138 mph). The ICON A5 is a seaplane built to meet these specifications.
Clearly getting some inspiration from the Republic RC-3 Sea Bee made famous from James Bond’s movie “Man with the golden gun” it’s meant for pilots who will not be flying in bad weather and at night. It is a much simpler aircraft built for style and safety. The interior was inspired by sports car design and the wings can fold back so it can easily be placed on a trailer, stored in a driveway and launched directly into the water. It's powered by a 100 horsepower engine that can be refueled at most marinas.
At around $139,000, it is affordable as far as airplanes are concerned. With its first flight in July, this new plane is well on its way to being available for delivery in 2010.