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The Ultimate Plane Boat Tender

showtimeScreen Shot 2014-07-29 at 11.09.35 AM

This could be the ultimate tender for a large sportfishing boat. Check out this video. Look out Icon A5. A new light sport amphibian from a Minnesota startup company is transforming the idea of what an airplane can be with some impressive value-added features, like a foldout flat floor that turns the LSA into a bass boat and hardware allowing a hammock to be slung across the tail. The two-seat LSA from MVP Aero in Minneapolis is an Icon lookalike with a carbon fiber hull, fabric-covered wing and carbon fiber spars. Powered by a 100 hp Rotax engine, the factory built version will sell for $189,000, while a quick-build kit version will be offered for $169,000. Glasair in Oregon and Fibercraft in Florida have been selected as partners to build the airplanes. During the unveiling of the MVP at Oshkosh yesterday, chief engineer for the project, Mike Van Staagen, explained that much thought has gone into the LSA to make it useful not just for flying but for all sorts of other adventures as well. For example, with the flat floor installed, a specially designed tent can enclose the front of the MVP, turning it into a home away from home. The canopy and instrument panel both fold up and out of the way, allowing the origami folding floor to be fitted in seconds. Van Staagen, a former Cirrus engineer who played key roles in the development of the SR22 and Cirrus Vision Jet, said keeping weight down wherever possible has been a primary goal as well, leading to the decision to cover the wings in fabric and build the spars out of lightweight material. The addition of wing struts, meanwhile, allow for a lightweight solution for the MVP’s folding wings. To help make the MVP affordable for more pilots, shared-ownership options will be a key part of the company’s business strategy. The 104-knot airplane is expected to hit the market in about three years. Read more at

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