VACAVILLE (9 September 2015) — ICON Aircraft announced that Thomas Wieners has joined the company as its Vice President of Manufacturing. He began his career at Audi AG, and then spent five years at DaimlerChrysler AG in various quality and manufacturing management roles. Most recently, he worked at Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) for eight years in operations roles that culminated with his overseeing the construction and operation of a 1,300-employee, $100M CAD greenfield production facility in Queretaro, Mexico.
“This is a unique opportunity to join a new company that is making a new product in a new factory,” said Wieners. “In the manufacturing world, which is dominated by established players, the chance to participate in so many firsts is very rare, and I am very excited to be joining the ICON team at this stage. And that team is a big part of the draw, with exceptional passion, talent, and dedication. I’m looking forward to working with the team to transition ICON to high-quality rate production in order to deliver aircraft to our enthusiastic customers and establish ICON as a distinguished manufacturer of world-class aircraft.”
Wieners will play a critical role as ICON transitions its development focus to manufacturing and production operations. The company’s new facility in Vacaville, CA, continues to grow and will develop over the coming years to support the evolution of the A5 and any other future products. He will work to increase production efficiencies, optimize the supply chain, and incorporate design-for-manufacturability revisions.
“VP of Manufacturing is an essential role at this juncture in ICON’s history, and Thomas is an outstanding fit for the position,” said ICON CEO and Founder Kirk Hawkins. “As we build out Vacaville with an eye toward delivering the more than 1500-aircraft backlog, Thomas’ ability to continually move the company toward timely deliveries of high-quality product profitably manufactured and at scale will be instrumental to ICON’s success. He has extensive relevant experience in the form of the construction and operation of BRP’s Queretaro facility and is also well-versed in composite manufacturing and supply chain development. Thomas is a talented and aggressive star performer with an exceptional manufacturing operations background–he’ll fit in well at ICON. We’re excited to have him on the team.”
ICON delivered its first customer aircraft in July 2015 at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and will complete its first aircraft at the Vacaville facility later this year. Full-scale production at the facility will occur next year.
For more information, visit www.iconaircraft.com.
About ICON Aircraft:
ICON Aircraft is a consumer aircraft manufacturer founded in response to the sport flying category created by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Given these enabling regulations, ICON’s mission is to reinvent personal flying by providing consumer-friendly, safe, technologically advanced aircraft that allow the freedom, fun, and adventure of flying to be accessible to those who have dreamed of it. ICON’s long- term vision is the ultimate democratization of personal flight. This is the beginning of that process. ICON’s first aircraft is the A5, an amphibious sport plane that fuses outstanding aeronautical engineering with world-class product design. It has won some of the world’s most prestigious design awards and has inspired a global following. The company has received more than 1800 deposits, representing $400M in aircraft orders, and delivered the first production aircraft in July 2015. ICON Aircraft’s facilities are in Northern California, 50 miles northeast of San Francisco.
About FAA Light Sport Aircraft & Sport Pilot Classifications
In 2004, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) created a new classification of easy-to-fly and affordable two-person airplanes called Light Sport Aircraft. These airplanes enable a new classification of Sport Pilots to fly in lower-altitude, uncongested airspace, during the daytime, and in good weather. The Sport Pilot License focuses on the fundamentals of flying and requires a minimum of 20 hours of in-flight training, undercutting the time and cost of a traditional Private Pilot License by about 50%. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has described these new rules as “the biggest change in aviation in 50 years.”