New Delhi: Have you ever seen or flown a
small sport plane which can both take off and land on water or
ground, has foldable wings so that you can carry it on your
trailer-truck and park it in your garage?
Now this may not remain a dream, as a prototype of the
American light-sport aircraft (LSA) which is being tested for
the past three years is likely to enter the production line in
the second quarter of 2012.
The two-seater ICON A5 is being developed by
California-based Icon Aircraft. Its wings can be folded easily
from the cockpit in under five minutes while on water or land.
The company last week announced that it closed a USD
25 million round of equity infusion in June to fund the
project through the completion of its ongoing engineering
development program, manufacturing setup and the beginning of
production of the amphibious sport plane.
The financing was led by investors Satyen Patel and
Bart Becht, who have deep expertise in building consumer
product companies. Patel has been associated with a top IT-
BPO firm and worked at senior positions with global brands
like Pepsi-Cola International and Nike.
Icon is looking at India to set up a supply chain base
for spares and other essential components, besides trying to
focus on the growing market of high net-worth individuals who
could be interested in buying this aircraft, Patel told PTI on
phone from the US.
Other investors include Google Chairman Eric Schmidt,
former Chairman and CEO of Boeing Phil Condit and several top
Silicon Valley venture capitalists.
The company was started in 2005 by CEO Kirk Hawkins
and COO Steen Strand, who met at Stanford University while
pursuing degrees in business and product design, respectively.