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Thread: Icon A5 Request For Weight Increase Exemption Status

  1. #151
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    The "additional fuel to compensate" bit is misleading as well. There's only additional fuel needed if you are (a) actually using a bigger engine than planned (the above mentioned use of the standard 912S covers that), and if you're trying to meet a specific range target using that bigger engine (of which the LSA standards do not specify a minimum range requirement for certification). So if Icon is fudging the facts about that, what else are they trying to BS the FAA with?
    Ryan Winslow
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  2. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmhd1 View Post
    250 pounds does seem like a lot. Although, none of us are building this particular plane so its all speculation - even if an informed one given that some of the folks on here are building or have built their own plane - which I would love to do some day...

    I noticed your signature says you are building an RV-7 - sounds like a fun project! I wonder what other modifications you would have to make if suddenly your wings were 40 pounds heavier? If memory serves, in Icon's original documentation for the weight exemption request they discuss the domino effect of structural changes that are needed to support the spin resistant airframe and it included more than just the wings being heavier.
    That is coincidentally the rough weight gain in metalizing the wings of a Cessna 140 and I don't think there's a gross weight increase included with that.
    Ryan Winslow
    EAA 525529
    Stinson 108-1 "Big Red", RV-7 under construction

  3. #153

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmhd1 View Post
    However, I don't think he ever thought the FAA would take more than a year (and counting) to make a decision on the subsequent weight exemption request initiated by the spin resistant airframe changes they incorporated into their POC.
    Why not? Has he never worked with the FAA before?

    ICON could have easily brought a product to market then worked on the "B" model and "C" model later. Hanging the future of the company on FAA approval of weight exemption was a dumb move.

  4. #154

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    Quote Originally Posted by WWhunter View Post
    After reading all these responses there is a couple of comments by a few posters that really iratated me...those guys that said flying on floats without flaps is crazy! Are you guys serious? How many Champs, Chiefs, Cubs, PA-12's, etc. are out there and are mounted on floats? They have been flying perfectly fine for 60-70 years off the lakes and rivers of the world without the need of flaps!!! Learn to fly the plane...granted flaps are another tool to help TO and landings but they are far from neccessary.
    Ok, back to the original topic. Rant over.
    Flaps are very useful in seaplane flying and I was one of those who thought Icon was making a mistake when they announced they were not going to use them on the A5. Rotating a seaplane on takeoff is more difficult than a landplane because increasing the pitch greatly increases the water drag on the float/hull. Flaps increase the angle of attack in the level attitude of a water takeoff.

    Now for other thoughts. What will happen to the performance of the A5 when the weight is increased over 17% with the same engine. I don't know how perky the plane was at 1430 lbs. but a 250 pound increase has got to hurt. I like the idea Cub Crafters had with the Carbon Cub. Get an engine with a lot of power for takeoff and climb but limit that power in time. Have a continuous power setting more in line with LSA needs. Wonder of any of the other LSA engine manufacturers are working on engines to do this?

    Further, the promised price is nearly the same as other upscale LSA's such as the CTLS. The few flying boats there have been have typically cost upwards of 50% more than a similar land plane. I expect the actual price of the A5, if it ever is delivered, to be much more than predicted.

  5. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neoflyer View Post
    Flaps are very useful in seaplane flying....... I expect the actual price of the A5, if it ever is delivered, to be much more than predicted.
    Yup, flaps increase lift for take off and provide for the quicker release of suction so to get up on the step quicker(aileron input can help as well).

    Yup on the price. The current $139K is for a base model plus the CPI(consumer price index) since 2008. That CPI proviso plus additional development costs I suspect will net out to somewhere between $165-175K base for current deposit holders.

  6. #156

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    The FAA should follow it's rules and do what it says.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    In the past, during creation of the LSA rules, the FAA has repeatedly said that they will NOT regulate by exemption.........
    That would allow for public comment about these complex issues.
    I agree with Bill. Understandably, everyone thinks that the A5 is a really exciting airplane and wants it to succeed. But emotion, politics, and money should not influence the certification process. Take a look at the Icon Directors. The Venture Capitalists that are funding this project will eventually take the company public. The VCs got involved to make money and if greasing the political skids is less expensive than a redesign then that is the path they will take. The Board has a number of politically connected heavy hitters capable of applying ample grease to the FAA skids. The FAA has indicated that they will NOT regulate by exemption. They should do just that. The FAA should follow it's long established rules and procedures and deny this weight waiver. As Bill indicated, if Icon feels that the LSA weight requirements need alteration then the correct procedure is to petition for a rule change. In that way a period of public comment would be required. The aviation community is full of smart, cautious, careful thinking, objective, responsible people whom I would guess would opt for an objective rules based certification process instead of a politically influenced process. The FAA should send the VCs back to the drawing board to put the A5 on a diet.

  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by RVC View Post
    I agree with Bill. Understandably, everyone thinks that the A5 is a really exciting airplane and wants it to succeed. But emotion, politics, and money should not influence the certification process. Take a look at the Icon Directors. The Venture Capitalists that are funding this project will eventually take the company public. The VCs got involved to make money and if greasing the political skids is less expensive than a redesign then that is the path they will take. The Board has a number of politically connected heavy hitters capable of applying ample grease to the FAA skids. The FAA has indicated that they will NOT regulate by exemption. They should do just that. The FAA should follow it's long established rules and procedures and deny this weight waiver. As Bill indicated, if Icon feels that the LSA weight requirements need alteration then the correct procedure is to petition for a rule change. In that way a period of public comment would be required. The aviation community is full of smart, cautious, careful thinking, objective, responsible people whom I would guess would opt for an objective rules based certification process instead of a politically influenced process. The FAA should send the VCs back to the drawing board to put the A5 on a diet.
    RVC, you're a newbe to this forum and this thread so I'll cut you some slack. You can't substitute histrionics and rehetoric for a lack of knowledge and factual content, most of which(factual content that is) is already contained in the thread. Better not to say anything at all, especially when unsubstantiated accusations can lead to libel:

    1. This may come as a shock, but emotion, politics and money influence everything.

    2. GA needs VC's to grow the sector and keep it well capitalized. The VC's rarely give GA a glancing look and too many companies go down because they are not well funded to meet their goals and aspirations. VC's should be embraced, not vilified for what you perceive as involved in influence peddling.

    3. It's really quite ironic that you think the VC's are greasing the skids and politically influencing the process. What evidence do you have to support these accusations? Do you just believe it to be so or do you just make this stuff up. It seems to me that they have no clout at all because the FAA took over a year just to reply to the request. With that kind of "greasing" and "influence" someone just wasted a lot of time and effort.

    4. The FAA is playing by the rules. There's a built-in mechanism in the LSA rules to trigger exemption requests based on meeting criteria/requirements for newly enhanced safety features and innovations. That has always been in place for any LSA manufacturer to exploit. So therefore no petition for rule change is required. And as far as public comment is concerned, did you provide one when Icon submitted the request? Why not? Public comments were called for over a year ago and the FAA even extended the original comment period by over a month.
    Last edited by Floatsflyer; 05-30-2013 at 08:40 PM.

  8. #158

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    Quote Originally Posted by Floatsflyer View Post
    Yup, flaps increase lift for take off and provide for the quicker release of suction so to get up on the step quicker(aileron input can help as well).
    It's more than just flaps aiding getting on the step. Seaplanes have a reduced ability to rotate on takeoff. Flaps decrease the needed rotation to get airborne at a given speed.

  9. #159

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    Question

    A new document was posted to the exemption docket for the Icon A5 today (6/4/13): http://www.regulations.gov/#!documen...2012-0514-0128


    Anyone have a clue as to the purpose of this document - (other than some kind of house cleaning for full disclosure of all pertinent documents regarding this request)?

    It appears to be a copy of a letter from the House Speaker from Ohio - John Boehner - dated July 25th 2012. In the letter he requests information on the A5 exemption request. This request was prompted by a letter from John Brown of Independant Aircraft who requested a congressional inquiry on the matter dated July 23rd 2012. There is also a copy of a Privacy Act release form.

    Seems like old information. I wonder what the revelance is and why it is just now being made public?
    Last edited by kmhd1; 06-04-2013 at 12:30 PM.

  10. #160
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    This is very old news but interesting. Indepenant Aircraft has an LSA amphib in some sort of development and therefore could be considered an Icon competitor and therefore would try to negatively influence the FAA's decision. The letter's contents sound dire and apocolyptic--kind of humourous actually in a dark sort of way. This obviously went nowhere-"congressional inquiry", now that's laughable. Independent Aircraft, however, was successful in having the FAA comment period extended last year by about a month. A quick look at their site today shows the last entry in "news" as Nov. 2011 so they don't sound too active.

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