Discussion in 'Hangar Flying' started by nucleus, Mar 30, 2016.
Do they have a SLSA version currently available?
Anyone have an update on Icon?
Are they on-schedule with production rate and deliveries?
What's your definition of "on-schedule"? Have they published one in the last 5 years?
A search of the FAA registry turns up about 96 US registered A5's. 34 of those are still registered to ICON Aircraft, Inc., so I'll assume they're either on the production line, coming off the production line, ready for transfer to a customer, or in a showroom somewhere. The rest seem to be in customer's hands, so that's about 62. At OSH last year, I was told that the production line could handle about 15 - 20 units/mo., but the FAA's list seems to indicate no more than 5 - 10/mo. new registrations, with the last batch being from February. According to the FAA registry, about 40 aircraft were delivered to customers in 2018.
Is that "on-schedule"? Who knows... Certainly not on the ORIGINAL claimed schedule or delivery rate - when I left in 2012, the plan was for 1000/yr., and then a couple years later, scaled back to an eventual 500/yr. But there was a ramp-up that was to take 2 - 3 years to reach that rate. Obviously either of those #'s is very aggressive, and just reaching 100 - 200/yr. would make them the largest LSA MFG by a large margin.
From an AvWeb article two years ago:
So it seems that they did not produce 200 in 2018.
Here's a table of Icon "Production," based on the Year of Manufacture in the January 2019 FAA registration database.
This list does not include aircraft with non-US registration, and there are 25 additional registration entries which do not list a year of manufacture. These may be just reserved N-Numbers.
In addition, three Icons of the 2018 production batch have been dergistered, as well as two of the 2017 set.
Dan Johnson has some 2019 data here: https://public.tableau.com/views/U_...splay_count=yes&publish=yes&:showVizHome=no#2
The harder data point to check is how many went to an “icon flight training center” and how many actually went to an end user.
I’d be curious to know how many production slot reservations and deposits were refunded or lost since inception. If you look at investor and funding turnovers it’s not been pretty, and they’ve received an amazing amount of new investments after they burn up the previous influx of capital. Over and over.
Actually, not difficult to determine. Here's the January 2019 registry. Note how many are still registered to Icon.
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Thanks for that, Ron.
A few observations:
Not many paying customers.
Did not find the one that they, supposedly, gave to the EAA.
Love the owner, LATA FUN, LLC.
Anyone know what their cash flow is? Their cash on hand?
Ron W posted this link over on the EAA forum:
All they need is more money from China and some customers.
How many players are there for any $390,000 toy? It is a toy as it’s not an efficient A-B business flyer. And you have to have special licenses to use it? A Ferrari has a chance of going up in value if you plop down the cash, and you can be seen in it every day showing off. When the dream was $150,000, a lot more people would have diverted money to that plane over from a top IFR used plane that was used 25 hours a year. It’s a wash then. At $390K it’s very close to the bottom of the turbine market which is a bigger status symbol.
From 650 workers down to 400? This isn't WWII. If your company needs 400 workers to make a modern light sport plane, you're clearly doing something wrong. Or maybe thats just my naivete?
I could see 60 workers. Maybe 80-100 in good times. Plus 10-20 logistics and office staff positions, maybe if orders are really moving a few extra heads in sales and customer support. But 4-6x that? To make theoretically 5 airframes a month?
I don't see a problem with this. At California minimum wage* that is only around $100,000 in labor (40 hr week**) per plane?
* have to factor in taxes, insurance and benefits
** does not include time off for sick days or FMLA time......
Let's do some rough math. Figure 1500 direct labor hours per airplane. Figure 100 airplanes per year. Assume a 50% overhead headcount burden.
100 airplanes/yr x 1500 hr/airplane = 150,000 direct labor hours. Add 50% and you get 225K labor hours. Divide that by 2000 labor hours/employee/year and you get 112 employees.
I see where the money is going...
If you look at the management crew I see a bunch of people who invaded a soft sector market to be able to get Wall Street size paycheck. Politicians kissing babies and stealing their candy. Most seem to be strategic planners to manipulate money and risk. They are not aircraft idea oriented at the top; they are sales and status oriented.
Of that 650, it's 400 "Marketing Executives" making $250,000 a year, 240 office drones, and 10 people actually building airplanes.
The layoffs affect 195 office drones and five of the construction folks. Can't lay off the marketing people!
400 staff building 5 planes per month is around 14,000 man hours per plane. That does seem a trifle high to me too. $28 per man hour seems pretty good once you deduct anything for overheads and materials.
Small problem with my math this morning. Forgot there are 4 40 hour weeks in the month. Minor detail that the Chinese investors would have overlooked too. Or maybe they didn't?
I interviewed there twice, and that matches my assessment. Except for the flight test department, the seemed openly resistant to airplane people.
The person they lost and , I believe, the chief test pilot both built biplanes and were/are members on the biplane forum. One doing a build thread. I would hope the flying people liked airplanes and flying.
Separate names with a comma.