The Adrenalist

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Reinventing Flying



Forget hoverboards. The future is much more practical, and it’s just around the corner.

The ICON A5 is one of the first in a newly FAA-certified class of airplanes called Light Sport Aircraft.

The A5 is practical. The two-seater can take off and land on water, and its wings fold so you can hitch it to your truck and pull it out of a marina and into your garage.

It’s powerful. The aircraft is propelled by a 100 horsepower Rotax 912 ULS engine — the same engine that powers certain predator drones. According to ICON, the A5′s maximum airspeed is 138 mph, and its maximum altitude is 15,000 ft., though FAA restrictions may keep pilots flying below 10,000 ft.

From what we can tell, the A5 is safe. ICON has flown dozens of test flights since 2008 with no major accidents reported. (The A5 isn’t certified for stunts.) But just in case, future owners will be able outfit their A5 with a ballistic parachute.

And finally, the A5 is affordable: ICON pegs the estimated price at $139,000. Deposits cost just $5,000. But already, nearly 700 pilots have reserved theirs. If you reserve an A5 now, your plane won’t ship until 2015.

It might be time to get in line.

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