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Icon's A5 light sport plane takes to the skies of Manhattan (pictures)

The startup believes the A5 plane represents a new kind of motor sport, in the sky.

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Roger_Cheng.jpg

Roger Cheng

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1 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Say hello to the Icon A5

The Icon A5 is a light sport plane designed for recreational use. It's amphibious, which means it can take off from and land on ground or water. Here, it's docked near a restaurant in North Manhattan.

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2 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

A small, sleek craft

The A5 isn't a large craft -- it's smaller than a two-seat compact car.

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Easy entry into the plane

The top of the craft lifts up to let passengers in and out.

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Simplified controls

The controls are streamlined compared with those of a traditional plane. Each seat has a control stick, so either person can pilot the craft.

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5 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Like the A5? It will cost you

At $189,000, the A5 isn't cheap. But there's already a long backlog, so if you put down a $5,000 deposit now, you'll get your plane sometime in 2019.

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6 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Getting ready to take off

I had a chance to fly in the A5, sitting in the pilot's seat and experiencing what it's like to control a small plane.

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7 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Running through the controls

The controls are intuitive and responsive and fairly easy to pick up.

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Ready to take off

The A5 hums quietly as it moves away from the dock. Once we get a little distance, the pilot fires up the main engine.

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Formation flying with the A5

Icon opted to start the test flight with a bit of formation flying. We ran through turns and runs side by side with another A5.

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The journey south

Our test run had us flying south down the Hudson River all the way to the Statue of Liberty, where we did a few laps around the landmark before heading back.

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11 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Skipping and bobbing across the water

The plane's bottom is hollowed out like a boat hull, so it's a relatively soft landing when you get to the water. The pilot brought the A5 down for a few skips and bobs before reaccelerating and lifting off again.

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12 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Meet Icon's flight instructor

Sitting in the co-pilot's seat (but largely flying the plane) was Jeremy Brunn, former Navy pilot and Icon's director of flight training. You need to take a three-week course with Icon before you can take your plane home.

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