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Cirrus will build Icon’s amphibious airframe


Under the terms of a deal signed earlier this week, Cirrus Aircraft will build most of the amphibious Icon A5’s airframe. The light sport aircraft is set to begin deliveries next year, though Icon is waiting for a ruling from the FAA that would let the aircraft be 250 pounds above the normal LSA weight limit. The production deal means Icon doesn’t need to acquire the composite material production equipment and expertise at its own southern California facility, though that plant would still be used for final assembly and testing. Cirrus will build large portions of the airframe at its Grand Forks, N.D., facility, then ship them to Icon’s California facility. Neither company released any financial terms of the deal, nor said how long the manufacturing agreement would remain in effect. The A5 uses a novel “spin-resistant” design that puts the plane into a conventional mushing stall when pro-spin inputs are added. The amphibious pusher prop is listed at $140,000, and Icon says it already has a backlog of more than 800 orders. Signing the deal with Cirrus means that Icon will be able to ramp up production at a greater rate than if it had to start its own assembly line.