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Icon A5


Guest PaulR
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Small, sexy, and perfect for the mid-lifers in the RAA category. 001_smile.gif.2cb759f06c4678ed4757932a99c02fa0.gif I'm adding it to my WANT list.

 

http://www.wired.com/cars/futuretransport/magazine/17-01/mf_icon_air

 

The Ultimate Flying Machine: Sexy as a Sports Car, Portable as a Jet Ski

By Carl Hoffman 12.22.08

 

 

The Icon A5, designed to thrill and a breeze to fly. Joy ride, anyone?

 

Photo: Andrew Zuckerman

 

On the shore of Lake Isabella, about 150 miles north of Los Angeles, a crowd of flight techs, most of them either pierced or tattooed, swarms around a small white airplane. It's called an Icon A5. It's a collaboration between an F-16 pilot and a skateboard designer, and it looks like an odd, rakish sea monster.

 

Today is the plane's first flight. Aeronautical calculations, computer simulations, and wind tunnel tests have been performed, of course. And yet ... every maiden flight is a dance with death. If all that math was foolproof, after all, no one would need test pilots.

 

At 6:30 am, the winds are calm. Jon Karkow pulls a parachute over his shoulders, hugs his girlfriend—a long embrace with whispers exchanged—and clambers into the cockpit; the A5 is remarkably stable on the water for something with a knife-edged underside. The tech crew chief closes the cockpit and gives the carbon-fiber skin a few pats; Karkow fires up the propeller and taxis the A5 out onto the lake.

Continued with video at http://www.wired.com/cars/futuretransport/magazine/17-01/mf_icon_air

 

 

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