Case story

ICON Credits Carbon Fiber Composites and Automotive Manufacturing Processes for Success

Morgan Hill, USA

California-based ICON Aircraft designed a new type of amphibious light sport aircraft (LSA) utilizing carbon fiber and lean automotive manufacturing processes. More than 100 of the company’s revolutionary A5 aircraft have been manufactured thanks to partnerships between ICON Aircraft and suppliers like Toray Advanced Composites.

ICON Aircraft sought lightweight, strong materials for the A5 airframe and other key assemblies. Toray Advanced Composites’ carbon fiber composites were chosen early in the design process due to the company’s rich heritage in thermoset and thermoplastic composite materials for the aerospace industry.

Working with Toray Advanced Composites, ICON Aircraft developed a core competency of carbon fiber part production, tying it together with automotive industry best practices to create a high-volume production manufacturing process. A new carbon fiber component manufacturing plant was set up in Tijuana, Mexico, with assembly done at the company’s facility in Vacaville, California, USA. Adopted processes for both sites include dedicated assembly lines, precise tooling, and detailed work instructions. ICON has since won several prestigious awards as a result of their work to advance carbon fiber composites manufacturing.

ABOUT ICON AIRCRAFT A5

Designed to be consumer-friendly, easy-to-fly, and very versatile, the A5 is marketed as an affordable adventure partner. It boasts advanced safety features such as a parachute system to deploy at low altitudes, a wingspan designed with proprietary airfoils to prevent spins, intuitive instruments, and minimal gauges. It can also land on ground or water and features foldable wings for easy transport and storage.

TORAY ADVANCED COMPOSITES' EXPERTISE AND CUSTOMER SERVICE

Recognized for partnering in aerospace on emerging programs, and providing optimized fiber and resin solutions, Toray Advanced Composites delivers more than materials. Our customer service and technical support teams are dedicated to helping you meet your timelines to ensure program success.

ICON Aircraft’s A5 was recently featured in Industry Today: http://digitalmagazine.industrytoday.com/FlippingBook/22.4/80/

Images copyright of ICON Aircraft

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