Icon’s New Fractional Program Cuts the Hassles of A5 Ownership While Retaining the Fun

The Fleet Access fractional program kicks off its beta period later this year in four test cities.

The foldable, two-person Icon A5 light sport aircraft is undeniably cool. Need proof? Check out this article and accompanying video of our travel editor taking a pre-production version of the plane for a spin around Manhattan in 2015. Then tell us you wouldn’t want to claim dibs on the next ride—we’ll wait.

Well, thanks to a new fractional program that Icon launched at the AirVenture Oshkosh show, now you can.

While the A5 has received rave reviews from those lucky folks who have taken test flights, Icon’s journey hasn’t all been smooth flying. While the aircraft was announced in 2008—the year of the Freddie Mac bailout and Obama’s Presidential win—various delays kept the company from delivering the first examples to customers until 2017 (Brexit and Khloe Kardashian’s pregnancy). The company was also dealt a one-two body blow last year when the A5 was involved in two separate fatal crashes within the span of six months. In both cases, pilot error was determined to have been the cause of the mishaps.

This year, things have been reassuringly calm, with production ramping up and now the introduction of the fractional program—Icon Fleet Access. Not only will the program open the experience of flying an A5 to a wider group of people who may not necessarily want to deal with the expense and logistics associated with ownership, it is also a good fallback option for deposit holders who don’t want to pay the final price of $389,000 for a fully-loaded A5. (The company had originally set the price tag at $257,000 for a fully loaded model.)

Still in its beta phase, Icon Fleet Access will launch in Tampa, Miami, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area in the fall, expanding to six other locations over the next year (if the pilot program is successful, of course). You can purchase quarter shares or half shares for $125,000 or $225,000, respectively. The former plan gives you access to a plane for 75 days a year (20 of which can be on weekends or peak days), while the half-share option increases your access to 150 days a year (40 on weekends or peak days). Under both plans, there is an hourly rate of $75 incurred while the plane is being flown. Flying the plane requires a sport pilot license, which can be earned at Icon’s training centers.

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