Tuesday, March 1, 2016

In an attempt to democratize the skies, ICON has created this lightweight, fuel-efficient, sport-focused aircraft with folding wings and the sensibility of a jet ski. Read on for more information about the plane you'll want to go out and buy—and fly—immediately.

Want to fly from point A to point B without having to endure the degrading experience that is airport security? Until now, one of the only ways to do that was to drop $3 million on a private jet—or charter one for an average of $3,388 per hour.

But this past summer, ICON decided to change things up, making their first customer delivery with the A5: an ultra-light sport airplane with foldable wings and the ability to land pretty much anywhere, be it a lake or a short strip of dirt road. That means you can load your A5 onto a trailer and park it in your driveway—no hangar or runway required.

ICON's mission is to bring the sport of flying to everyone, not just billionaire businessmen. Flying an A5 only requires a Sport Pilot License (gained with about 20 hours of flight time), and removable side windows that let you really feel the wind, or ocean spray, on your face. Because the A5 isn't just an airplane. It's kind of like a jet ski capable of rocketing forward at 110 mph.

And while we won't go so far as to call the $189,000 base price pocket change, it's certainly affordable when compared to that of a private jet. Add in the convenience of an engine that can run on auto gas, the virtually spin-proof frame, and the personal parachute for the unlikely event when shit does hit the prop, and the Icon 5 comes closer than ever to democratizing the skies.

The wait list extends well into 2019, but if you're willing to spend a premium (just think about all the money you'll save on future airline tickets and checked bag fees, or jet fuel and private charter costs) you can get yours as early as this year.

Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.

In an attempt to democratize the skies, ICON has created this lightweight, fuel-efficient, sport-focused aircraft with folding wings and the sensibility of a jet ski. Read on for more information about the plane you'll want to go out and buy—and fly—immediately.

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