Epic Announcement: More of a Short Story...

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Less than one year after the plane was announced and just over a year since the company was formed, the epic tale of the Epic LT 6-place jetprop is turning out to be more of a short story with the possibility of a very happy ending. It was announced at OSH '03, flown just days before OSH '04, and is sitting on the grounds of AirVenture now attracting admiring looky-loos ... proof, says company officials, that the sleek plane is much more than a dream on a piece of paper. The Epic business plan is unique. The first 17 aircraft will be sold in the experimental category. Buyers will come to the Epic manufacturing facility, currently located in Bend, Ore., and work side-by-side with the Epic team to satisfy the FAA's 51% rule for amateur-built aircraft. "Understand that this will be happening in a VERY controlled environment," says CEO Rick Shrameck. Not only will skilled professionals be assisting in the build, the "kit" itself is totally C and C'ed with tolerances of 5 to 6-thousandths. Customers can expect a build time of around 300 hours at the Epic facility, and will have the choice of the $1.2 million configuration that sports a 1200-hp Pratt & Whitney PT-6 or the $775,000 version powered by a Walther Lom 771. Those prices are for a ready-to-fly aircraft, the first of which will be customer-completed by January of '05.