Icon A5 Update - No Deliveries!?!

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Wanttaja

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Take another quote from the Rob M. article: " The A5 can turn on a dime in the air..."

Huh? Turn radius is a function of wing loading and low speed capability. The Searey clearly has a lower wing loading.
The two Icon crashes involved failure to turn on a dime and avoid the shore/trees.
OK, so it can turn on a quarter, instead. It's just 15 cents difference, doesn't really matter for a $300,000 airplane.

It's a metaphor, not a performance measurement. The impression of turn radius will from *inside the cockpit*. This impression will be based on how the controls feel, not by a measurement of actual turn radius.

Ron Wanttaja
 

Wanttaja

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For those who need it, the Vette has more pick-up potential. Never needed it, myself.
Actually, this leads to a nice illustration of the issue.

Back when we all were skinny, haired, and handsome, some of us liked cars. Some wanted to engage in street racing. They'd pull out the passenger and back seats, remove the upholstery, scrap the muffler, take off the hubcaps, pull out the radio and speakers, etc. to lighten the car as much as possible. Performance was their only goal.

Some, though, had the goal of attracting and wooing young ladies. Delicate creatures as they would not sit on a bare steel floor; they would not tolerate the roar of an unmuffled V-8 nor the rattle of metal in non-upholstered interiors. These young men's rides were more genteel, but, of course, they couldn't touch the performance of the street racers.

(for those wondering, my first cars were a '64 VW bug, and a '46 Willys Jeep. Neither won races or attracted ladies. I had to rely on looks and charm, which meant a very, very, lonely adolescence.)

So it is with the Searey vs. the Icon. One has the performance, it's true, but the other is FAR more refined. It is intended to appeal to those with Lamborghinis, not F-150s, and is priced to match. By marketing the plane to non-pilots, the lower performance doesn't really matter...their customer base won't notice it.

The Icon company is taking the gamble that they'll be able to attract enough Lamborghini owners to earn a profit. I have my doubts whether it'll work, but we do need to attract more people to aviation.

Ron Wanttaja
 

pictsidhe

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Actually, this leads to a nice illustration of the issue.

Back when we all were skinny, haired, and handsome, some of us liked cars. Some wanted to engage in street racing. They'd pull out the passenger and back seats, remove the upholstery, scrap the muffler, take off the hubcaps, pull out the radio and speakers, etc. to lighten the car as much as possible. Performance was their only goal.

Some, though, had the goal of attracting and wooing young ladies. Delicate creatures as they would not sit on a bare steel floor; they would not tolerate the roar of an unmuffled V-8 nor the rattle of metal in non-upholstered interiors. These young men's rides were more genteel, but, of course, they couldn't touch the performance of the street racers.

(for those wondering, my first cars were a '64 VW bug, and a '46 Willys Jeep. Neither won races or attracted ladies. I had to rely on looks and charm, which meant a very, very, lonely adolescence.)

So it is with the Searey vs. the Icon. One has the performance, it's true, but the other is FAR more refined. It is intended to appeal to those with Lamborghinis, not F-150s, and is priced to match. By marketing the plane to non-pilots, the lower performance doesn't really matter...their customer base won't notice it.

The Icon company is taking the gamble that they'll be able to attract enough Lamborghini owners to earn a profit. I have my doubts whether it'll work, but we do need to attract more people to aviation.

Ron Wanttaja
There is a middle ground. Back when I had hair and even less money than I do now, I cobbled together a rat Leyland Mini. It won 'Tattiest Mini' at a show! It also went like a bat out of hell. ~80hp from a lightly teaked scrapyard engine, sticky tyres, scrapyard vented brakes and quite a bit of time spent cutting, welding and grinding suspension to new geometry meant it showed a clean pair of heels to almost everything on twisty roads. On the straights, not so good. It had a full set of seats, the standard basic interior but with a cassette player upgrade. It had a muffler that did. It was the first car that I could semi-reliably drift, that was before drifting was even a thing. Not bad for FWD. There were many Minis quicker on the straights, but not on the corners. :D

My girlfriend loved it, especially when she got to drive it. Her car didn't look as rough, but it couldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding.

I'm trying to pull a similar stunt with my Hurricane: Goes a lot better than you'd initially expect from a quick look. Sadly, it won't be as fast in a straight line as my Mini. But it will corner even harder!
 

Wanttaja

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So, like a Lamborghini, it's best to not actually take the Icon out in the real world?
Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if there were some cases like this. Probably be some rich guys who buy them to just show them off, with little or no interest in actually flying them.

Ron Wanttaja
 

jedi

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From post 1197

Judging which is the "best" aircraft really depends on what your criteria are. Looking at the performance specs, there's no question that Searey is better in a lot of categories. But just like...for instance... my little Honda Civic might be able to corner tighter than a Corvette, there might be comfort and other aspects of the Vette that makes "superior," depending on the evaluator's criteria.
..... Great tabulated performance deleted for compactness.....
The Searey is obvious better in some key performance areas. .......

Ron Wanttaja
Some very interesting comparisons here as far as product and business models go both here and in follow on posts.

The comments about Vets, Lambos and Minis interest me.

So add to Ron's table a row for executive pay. Does the Icon win?
Add a row for profitability. Does the Sea Ray win?
Add a row for employee satisfaction. Members please comment, I know some of you are here.

I like the innovation Mini and Hurricane owners do to there pride and joy. But at the same time the Vets and the Lambos and racing in general are also developing performance improvements.

Not sure who is making the most and the best big company improvements in aviation but I do appreciate the members here contributing to the practical contributions of the Mini and Hurricane (and Ranger, VP, Motorcycle of the air, etc.) developments.

Thanks for the forum. Lets MEGA (Make Aviation Great Again).

BTW great video of Ford aviation history in "The Big Video Topic" post #1334. More auto companies should get involved in aviation innovation/personal transportation.
 
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BBerson

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I think the Icon failed at mass marketing, which I think was the main mission some dozen years ago. It's just another rich toy, it's not even useful for business travel like the cirrus.
It also failed to prove that carbon is light. It failed to prove that carbon composite is cheap to manufacture.
It failed to prove crash safety, so far.
 

Wanttaja

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So add to Ron's table a row for executive pay. Does the Icon win?
Add a row for profitability. Does the Sea Ray win?
Add a row for employee satisfaction. Members please comment, I know some of you are here.
Assume I'm sitting here with $400,000 burning a hole in my pocket, and a hankering for a small amphibian. Why would I care how much the Icon executives make? In fact, if I've got that much money to throw away, I'd probably LIKE it if they were making a lot.

I might be concerned about profitability, but only from the "will the airplane be supported in the future" aspect. But you still see Lakes flying, and Seabees, and Grumman amphibians, even though they aren't supported by factories. The near-term effect of the loss of a company will probably be minor.

Employee satisfaction? Again, why would a customer care, as long as the build quality is adequate?

Might as well add rows as to whether there are any conflict diamonds in the instruments, Huawei chips in the avionics, or plastic straws in the glove box.....

Ron Wanttaja
 

pictsidhe

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Huawei? I'm much more worried about Cisco. There are plenty of allegations about the former, there have been numerous revealed actual security holes with the latter...
 

jedi

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Assume I'm sitting here with $400,000 burning a hole in my pocket, and a hankering for a small amphibian. Why would I care how much the Icon executives make? In fact, if I've got that much money to throw away, I'd probably LIKE it if they were making a lot.

I might be concerned about profitability, but only from the "will the airplane be supported in the future" aspect. But you still see Lakes flying, and Seabees, and Grumman amphibians, even though they aren't supported by factories. The near-term effect of the loss of a company will probably be minor.

Employee satisfaction? Again, why would a customer care, as long as the build quality is adequate?

Might as well add rows as to whether there are any conflict diamonds in the instruments, Huawei chips in the avionics, or plastic straws in the glove box.....

Ron Wanttaja
I care not because I want to buy an Icon. I care because I would Ike to develop and manufacture a product.

I am looking for a successful business to emulate.

I would like a 6 figure income and a good product.

I do not want the outcome of any number of aircraft manufacturers like you so rightly listed and the even more current list such as Inovator, B lite, Back Yard Flyer, CGS Hawk, Quicksilver, etc. etc. etc.

I would like to get your imaginary $400,000 and you, as one customer, are perhaps easier to work with than the 1,000s of customers that would be needed at $40 per person.

In your opinion are B.B. and I waisting our time attempting to make an inexpensive aircraft? Is there mass market for a 21 st century Ford Fliver or the Kitty Hawk multicopter personal air vehicle?

Icon was developed on the idea that there was a market for 3,000* aircraft per year. North American over estimated the market for the Sea Bee and Ercoupe went out of businesses for the same reason.

We can agree that if the Icon were less than $100,000 there would be many more sales. But, I still question if the market would support that volume for twenty years.

* No source or research for this. Just on optimistic example of 10 units per day times 300 days of the year.
 
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Wanttaja

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Jedi, your questions are leading us beyond the basic issue of Icon aircraft...I've started a new thread ("The GA Market") and will address them there.

Ron Wanttaja
 

BJC

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Per GAMI, ICON old 44 airplanes in 2018. It will b interesting to see how many they have sold in 2019.


BJC
 

jedi

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Per GAMI, ICON old 44 airplanes in 2018. It will b interesting to see how many they have sold in 2019.
BJC
I called Icon about two or three weeks ago. No answer just phone tree and recorded messages. I left a phone number with sales and have not heard back since. Local Icon demonstration plane appears to be in winter storage.
 

dragon2knight

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When you try and attract the Lambo crowd, you are in for a rough ride.....and their sales show it. I'm actually astounded they've lasted this long.
 

BJC

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According to GAMA, ICON shipped 41 A5 aircraft on 2019, bringing their all-time shipments to 100.


BJC
 

PMD

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When you try and attract the Lambo crowd, you are in for a rough ride.....and their sales show it. I'm actually astounded they've lasted this long.
When you start with what was it? $50mm of OPiuM (Other People's Money) it is fairly easy to build 100 very expensive little airplanes. The fact that they are re-designing to make it more producible, lighter, etc. tells me there was a bit of a rush in the first place with maybe a bit of a lack of experience in the design crew.
 
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