Icon produces the amphibious, stall-resistant A5, a light sport aircraft that was announced with great fanfare more than a decade ago but has been beset by production delays, price hikes, and the company’s turmoil. A group of Icon shareholders is currently suing the majority owner claiming inappropriate technology transfers to China.
Meyer previously managed Icon production and marketing.
“ICON Aircraft has a rich, albeit short, history of driving innovation while challenging the norms in the aviation industry,” Meyer said in a written statement. “What’s been missing is a strategic roadmap that offers a practical, executable path forward. That is my focus…“
Meyer earned an engineering degree from Duke University and a Master of Business Administration at Northwestern University. He was a U.S. naval aviator and flew Northrop Grumman E–2 Hawkeye turboprops and instructed in McDonnell Douglas T–45 Goshawk jets. He joined Icon in 2016 and said combining his passions for aviation and a startup business was the “culmination of a dream.”
Icon’s California factory originally was designed for high-rate production of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of airplanes annually—a goal Meyer said is unrealistic. Icon expects to produce about 50 A5s this year, and Meyer plans to reduce overhead, streamline production, and reduce its current seven-month backlog for new aircraft to three months.
Meyer said the company is close to obtaining FAA certification for the A5 in the primary category, and that designation will enable foreign sales in countries that don’t recognize U.S. light sport aircraft.
Icon A5s carry a retail price of $359,000, and the company has delivered 150 to date.
Icon also promoted Stéphan D’haene to chief operating officer. D’haene had been a senior vice president for operations and joined the company in 2021. He previously held management positions at two European light sport aircraft manufacturers.
Icon operates two seaplane flight schools, one at its California headquarters and another in Tampa, Florida. It is also placing A5s in existing seaplane flight schools to give more pilots access to them.
“We know they’ll love them once they fly them,” Meyer said, “and that will lead to additional sales.”