Icon A5, the sporty amphibious plane for the rest of us

A former Air Force F15 pilot rolled out this personal aircraft yesterday, and he’s calling it Icon A5. The $139,000 plane can take off and land on water or dry land, and has controls that are more like a car than an airplane. Fold up its wings, and you can tow it behind your car. Expected to go on sale in 2010, its 32-foot wingspan makes it a relatively small plane, but it's still not the smallest one we've seen.

Icon A5 fits right into the FAA’s new Light Sport Aircraft category, restricted to flying in daylight under 10,000 feet with a top speed of 140mph. It must be easy to pilot the thing, because you can get the Sport Pilot License required to fly it with about 20 hours of flight training.

Flying in this little pocket rocket got you scared? Not to worry — it's a whole lot safer than a personal helicopter — if you make a flying mistake, this beautifully designed plane has its own built-in parachute.

Icon, via Business Week