Elite Traveler November-December 2018


Aviation by Kristen Shirley

The single Angle of Attack gauge ensures the Icon A5 is simple to operate

First Flight: IconA5

No runway? No problem. With a sense of adventure, the only limit to the all-new Icon A5 light-sport aircraft is the amount of free time you have to explore. Approaching the tiny plane on the tarmac at Westchester Airport, I had to wonder if I’d gone too far. Was I really going to get into a plane with foldable wings that I could pull with only one hand and land in the middle of the Hudson River? But with the sun shining and a former Navy fighter-jet pilot flying, I decided to go for it. And I’m glad I did. Icon designed the A5 to introduce more people to the pure pleasure of flying and the thrill of a water landing — and the amphibious plane certainly delivers both. With panoramic views from the large front window and the side windows removed, flying in the A5 felt like a joyride in a super-cool flying car. Once airborne, the pilot showed off the A5’s maneuverability by pulling some serious turns over the water, seemingly turning on a dime. Then, showcasing the ease of the fighter-jet-inspired central- stick controller and Angle of Attack (AoA) gauge, he landed in the middle of the river, popped open the cockpit and we floated along for a few minutes. I wished we had a picnic in the back and were pulling up to a secluded beach, something I’m sure every A5 pilot has on his or her bucket list. After closing the cockpit, he took off from the water with incredible speed, circled again, and informed me it was my turn. Closely watching the AoA gauge, I couldn’t believe how easy it was to land the plane on the water, then take off again. Heading back to the airport and a more traditional runway landing, I felt so inspired by the A5’s sense of fun and adventure that I began seriously considering getting my sport pilot license. From $269,000, contact Michael Farley, vice president of global sales, mike.farley@iconaircraft.com, iconaircraft.com


The day when reality looks like a scene from a futuristic sci-fi movie where flying cars fill the skies has come a bit closer with the news that SureFly’s eVTOL aircraft has entered FAA type certification. This personal helicopter looks more like a passenger-sized drone than helicopter — it has eight independent motors instead of the traditional four rotors — which makes sense as SureFly applied its drone technology to create this aircraft. The CEO had a goal to make the helicopter

easy to pilot (it’s controlled by a joystick), safe (it has a backup battery in case of engine failure and a ballistic parachute in case of emergency) and affordable (its target price is under $200,000). With a range of approximately 70 miles, or one hour of flying time, the short-haul options seem endless. Preorder deposit, $1,000, contact Brittney Burns, director of sales, brittney.burns@workhorse.com workhorse.com/surefly

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