VACAVILLE — It’s up, up and away, baby, for Icon Aircraft.
The amphibious sport aircraft company, which recently announced its relocation to Vacaville, stated Tuesday that it hit a milestone Sunday with its first A5 unveiling at the annual EAA AirVenture in Wisconsin. It was model No. ESN-1.
The plane, which was completed between January and June at the company’s Tehachapi facility, reportedly “lifted off smoothly” on its maiden test flight earlier in the month, according to an email from Kirk Hawkins, the company’s founder and CEO. The aircraft has since flown successfully several times.
The two-seater sport plane with foldable wings can land on both water and solid ground and is designed for speeds of 120 mph and a range of up to 300 miles. It burns both auto and aviation fuel.
A second A5 is under construction and will be used for structural verification after it is completed in the fall. A third aircraft must be built to “support FAA approval” and from there, the company will begin delivery to customers on its lengthy waiting list of more 1,000 people. Delivery is expected to begin in May 2015.
After a long process of vetting various cities, Icon announced in May that it had selected Vacaville as its new location. The company started in Silicon Valley in 2006 and its current facility is in Southern California.
It leased a 137,940-square-foot building on Beechcraft Road in Vacaville, adjacent to the Nut Tree Airport, which will allow the company to locate its entire production at one location.
At an hourlong presentation in May, Hawkins indicated the company’s relocation could create up to 500 local jobs with an economic impact estimated to eventually exceed $350 million, citing revenue-generating activities such as local wages paid, local purchases made by Icon, increases in visitor and employee spending, plus sales and property tax revenue.
For more information, go to www.iconaircraft.com.
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.