Right in line with Icon’s high-viz marketing push for its A5 amphib LSA comes the announcement that iconic big-ticket shopping purveyor Nieman Marcus has the futuristic waterplane as the number one (and priciest) fantasy gift in its 2009 Christmas Book. *** The Icon is currently in extensive flight testing at Tehachapi, Ca, one of the soaring meccas of the west but also near Lake Isabella, so both the land and water chops of the A5 can be thoroughly wrung out. *** An interesting sidenote mentioned in the piece: Matthew Gionta, ICON’s chief technical officer, is quoted as saying 33% of the A5’s current customer base has “never flown before.” *** That’s a testimony to the vision of the company’s founder, Kirk Hawkins, who believes the ICON will bring new pilots to aviation with its glossy marketing of the A5 as a kind of flying jet-ski you can easily trailer to your holiday getaways. *** The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book package that Icon created includes the airplane with exterior and interior luxury upgrades, custom trailer and FAA-certified sport pilot licensing for two. Just pony up $250,000 and its yours. *** BTW, it’s the priciest gift in the entire catalog. *** North Pole scuttlebutt has it that Santa himself is considering the package. The question remaining is whether Old St. Nick can fit his rotunditude into any LSA cockpit. Stay tuned for further updates. *** Meanwhile, ICON reports 466 sales to date! Most impressive for a ship that won’t be delivered until at least late 2011. *** Here’s a couple more links to the catalog announcement: Luxist and Dallas Business Journal. *** —web page copy courtesy Neiman Marcus
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