ICON Aircraft has been granted a weight exemption from FAA
for its A5 Light Sport Aircraft (LSA), as the agency will allow the A5 to have a maximum takeoff weight of up to 1,680 pounds, a 250-pound increase over its standard 1,430-pound amphibious LSA maximum.
(ICON's A5 light sport aircraft. Photo, courtesy of ICON.)
After becoming the first conventional aircraft to meet FAA
requirements for Part 23 spin resistance, ICON filed for the weight increase exemption in May 2012. While waiting for the exemption, ICON moved forward with an interim design weight, but now after receiving the exemption it expects the A5 to have a max gross takeoff weight of 1,510 pounds for the first production aircraft in spring 2014.
In granting the weight exemption, FAA stated that the "combined design features and SRA concepts incorporated into the ICON A5 design...are recognized by the FAA as significant safety enhancements."
"We had to make some tough engineering decisions in order to keep the program moving forward given the FAA delay," said ICON VP of Engineering, Matthew Gionta. "But in the end, we got to a great place and are on the verge of delivering one of the safest, most user-friendly Light Sport Aircraft possible today."
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