Icon A-5: The Folding Airplane Concept

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Of course, it wouldn’t be suitable for the general adventure sport market if it wasn’t easy to store and transport. Engineers have tried to satisfy this need – and they have been innovative in doing so. The wings of the A-5 fold inwards to make the machine much more compact so it can be carried on a trailer. By the same logic, the plane could also be feasibly stored in a garage – although with a length of 23 feet (7 meters), you would need a fairly large garage.

The Icon A-5 is officially classed as a light-sport aircraft and features some impressive specifications. It has room for one passenger in addition to the pilot, a range of around 345 miles (556km) per journey and a maximum speed of 211mph (333.6 km/h). The maximum take-off weight is 1,510lbs (685kg), meaning there is room for 550lbs (249kg) of ‘useful load’ (passenger weight, baggage etc.).

Before you get too excited, the Icon A-5 does of course come at a high price. The first batch of models are being sold for $250,000, although the company intends to sell later batches at the lower (but still significant) price of $197,000. That said, the plane is the first of its type and it remains to be seen whether the concept will catch on, leading to more affordable but similar offerings in years to come. The company behind the design is currently busy earning all the necessary Federal Aviation Association approvals ahead of the plane’s release, and have already received orders for 1,500 planes, which they hope to deliver by 2019.
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