New Aircraft Update...

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Epic "On Time And On Budget"

Rick Schramek of Epic Aircraft told AVweb on Tuesday that the Epic Jet prototype is about 85 percent complete. "The T-tail and the nacelles are on, and the nosecone goes on in January," he said. "About 75 percent of it is the same as the LT, so that makes it easier. We'll probably fly it in June." The LT is Epic's six-seat turboprop Malibu-killer that debuted at Oshkosh last summer, a year after the design was announced. Epic also is building a new 100,000-square-foot factory at Bend, Ore., that will be ready in April, and a jet facility is in the works at Redmond Airport, Schramek said. He said the Epic LT is undergoing flight testing now, and the first customer delivery is set for February. That first airplane will be flown in the Experimental category, but FAA certification is in the works. "We're still on time and on budget," Schramek said. Workers from the Georgia Republic are in Bend now, he said, being trained on the composite work. They will fabricate parts in Georgia, but the airplane will be assembled in the U.S. Schramek added that he has 42 orders for the LT, with five currently under construction, but isn't talking yet about orders for the jet. The jet may debut with a 35-knot (and $150,000) ... improvement ... over the LT -- along with a superior fuel burn. He said he expects to deliver the first jet in December 2005.