AirVenture: Icon To Certify A5, Flight Aware To Serve ‘Bug Smashers'

Icon Aircraft At EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
Credit: Molly McMillin

OSHKOSH, Wisconsin–Icon Aircraft announced plans to certify its Icon A5 amphibious aircraft as a way to expand sales at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh here. At the same time, Flight Aware unveiled a new service for general aviation, or the “bug smashers,” GE updated the Catalyst engine for Textron Aviation’s Beechcraft Denali and more. 

Icon Aircraft To Certify A5

Icon Aircraft plans to seek FAA certification of its Icon A5 amphibious aircraft in the primary category, as it works to expand international sales. 

Approvals for FAA type certification are in the final stages, paving the way for the A5 to be exported to countries that do not recognize the light sport model of the aircraft. With the certified edition, owners will be able to import and register the aircraft in their home countries, the company says. A type-certified A5 has simplified international travel requirements for U.S. customers when they fly to the Caribbean or operate from a yacht in foreign waters, Icon officials say.

The first A5-certified edition, priced at $399,000, is scheduled for completion later this year. It will feature a Garmin 796 package and three new color options, including electric green, electric blue and gray. Icon has a backlog of about five months, with three aircraft available for 2021 delivery. It expects to deliver 31 aircraft in 2021, with plans to deliver more than 50 in 2022.  

FlightAware Unveils Service For The ‘Bug Smashers’

Flight-tracking provider FlightAware unveiled a new subscription-based service called Aviator at AirVenture, designed for general aviation pilots, or the “bug smashers,” says Matt Davis, FlightAware vice president of sales. The program provides detailed information on an aircraft’s movement, such as power-on time, taxi, takeoff and landing times and other data to those the pilot designates to receive it, such as family, friends, flying club managers, bosses, FBOs or others, Davis said during a press conference. A pilot can enroll up to 25 people to receive the information.  

GE’s Catalyst Engine Expects Certification In 2022

Engine maker GE is featuring the new Catalyst turboprop engine, designed for Textron Aviation’s new single-engine Beechcraft Denali, the first clean-sheet engine for the turboprop segment in more than 50 years, the company says. The engine has been on display at GE’s exhibit at AirVenture Oshkosh. The company is finishing the documentation for permission for first flight, with certification expected in late 2022.  

Jet It On Growth Path

Jet It, a North Carolina-based fractional ownership company, has been showcasing its services for the first time at AirVenture Oshkosh. Jet It, founded in 2018, operates nine HondaJet Elite aircraft with two additional HondaJets to be delivered soon. The company just passed 100 employees. Jet It is Honda Aircraft’s largest fleet operator in North America. Its co-founder and CEO Glenn Gonzales, a former U.S. Air Force F15 pilot, spent five years as a Gulfstream demonstration pilot before moving to Honda Aircraft as a sales manager. TallyHo! Apps has signed an agreement with Jet It to help qualify aircraft service providers, the company says. As Jet It’s operations continue to expand and its flight hours climb, the company will require an increasing number of services. As part of the partnership, Jet It will help improve Tally Ho’s software platform by identifying areas of increased efficiency. 

Molly McMillin

Molly McMillin, a 25-year aviation journalist, is managing editor of business aviation for the Aviation Week Network and editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, an Aviation Week market intelligence report.