ICON AIRCRAFT SELECTS LIBERTYAEROSPACE AND FLYTECH AS COMPOSITE STRUCTURE SUPPLIERS FOR THE ICON A5
Following a rigorous and comprehensive global supply chain analysis, ICON Aircraft (www.iconaircraft.com) has selected Liberty Aerospace of Melbourne, FL, and Flytech Kft. of Szombathely, Hungary, as their suppliers of structural composite assemblies for the ICON A5 Light Sport Aircraft. The selection is a significant step in ICON’s ongoing development efforts of its ICON A5, marking an important milestone toward production of the highly anticipated aircraft.
The selection of the two companies illustrates ICON’s strategy to outsource the composite structure manufacturing to take advantage of exceptional capabilities already existing in the certified aircraft sector, rather than recreating them. This strategy allows ICON to focus solely on the remaining development of the production aircraft design, while controlling all final assembly, system integration, and testing to ensure product quality.
“The proven track records of both companies in high-quality composite production drove this decision,” said Kirk Hawkins, CEO and Founder of ICON Aircraft. “At ICON, we do our homework to ensure we get to great solutions – and this is just another example. Partnering with established suppliers will allow ICON to not only reach production sooner, but also accelerate the production ramp to meet the impressive demand we’re seeing for the A5.”
ICON will receive major composite structural assemblies from these suppliers and will control all system installation, final assembly, finishing, and testing prior to delivery. A5 production will be at ICON’s facilities in Southern California.
Liberty Aerospace currently manufactures a certified composite aircraft under an FAA-approved quality system, which will directly benefit the production of the ICON A5. Additionally, Liberty brings extensive design-for-manufacturing capabilities that will be leveraged in the production design of the A5.
Flytech has been manufacturing composite aircraft tooling since 1983 and composite parts since 1996. Their use of the latest generation resin-impregnating technology and their top-of-the-line ERP and production control systems ensure the highest quality light aircraft structures.
ABOUT ICON AIRCRAFT:
ICON Aircraft is a consumer sport plane manufacturer founded by Kirk Hawkins and Steen Strand while at Stanford University shortly after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enacted regulation changes in 2004 that created the new sport flying category. Kirk is an engineer, former U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter pilot, and graduate of Stanford Business School. Steen, a former investment banker and Harvard graduate, holds a Masters in Engineering from Stanford in Product Design and is a serial entrepreneur. A privately funded company, ICON Aircraft’s base of operations is in Southern California, which is a hotbed for automotive design and aerospace engineering.
ABOUT FLYTECH KFT:
Since 1996, Flytech Kft has been a supplier of high quality composite parts and structural assemblies for aviation using the latest-generation laminating machine and wet-layup technologies. A new production facility in 2007 located in Szombathely, Hungary, added over 60,000 sq-ft of modern manufacturing space. Partnered with its sister company, Aeroplastic Kft., a specialized composite mold production shop with a history to 1983, Flytech offers a single facility for all composite needs from CAD model to finished composite part. In the course of its work, Flytech has produced parts and assemblies for many of the leading European aeroplane manufacturers such as Diamond Aircraft, Comco Icarus and Remos Aircraft. With over 1,200 aircraft produced and ISO 9001 quality certification, Flytech is a perfect manufacturing partner for the light sport aircraft industry.
ABOUT LIBERTY AEROSPACE, INC. (www.libertyaircraft.com):
Based in Florida’s Space Coast, Liberty Aerospace, Inc., designs and manufactures general aviation aircraft and aircraft structures and is the FAA Type Certificate holder for the IFR, Part 23 certified Liberty XL2, the only certified production aircraft powered by a piston engine equipped with a full authority digital engine control (FADEC). Liberty has been awarded an FAA Production Certificate and meets all of the demanding audit and quality requirements set forth by the FAA. Specializing in advanced carbon fiber construction techniques, Liberty as both an engineering and manufacturing organization employs some of the most talented engineers, DERs and DARs in the world and is one of two companies in the U.S. that is authorized by the FAA to manufacture primary structures utilizing the Toray carbon fiber system. With this experience, Liberty has emerged as a leader in the design, certification and manufacturing of advanced materials, delivering aircraft and components to other OEMs that meet both the practical and regulatory demands of the aerospace industry.
ABOUT FAA LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT & SPORT PILOT CLASSIFICATIONS:
In 2004, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) created a new classification of easy-to-fly and affordable two-person planes called Light Sport Aircraft that enable a new classification of Sport Pilots to fly. The Sport Pilot License focuses on the fundamentals of flying and requires a minimum of 20 hours of in-flight training, which is half the time and cost of a traditional Private Pilot's License. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) described the new rules as "the biggest change in aviation in 50 years."