Epic Aircraft Ramping Up
Epic Aircraft has hired 25 more workers in the last two months at its production plant in Bend, Ore., company spokesman Mike Schrader told AVweb this week at Sun 'n Fun. He added that they plan to hire 50 more by the end of the year. "We're also adding new equipment, and building the final tooling," he said. "We'll fly the first conforming airplane this fall." Parts for that airplane are under construction now, he said, and structural testing is already underway. The company has taken about 35 orders so far this year for the $2.75 million E1000 turboprop. "We're seeing lots of interest from well-qualified buyers here at Sun 'n Fun," Schrader added. He said the airplane is on track for certification in mid-2015, with deliveries to start before the end of that year.
The E1000, based on the 2004 kit aircraft, carries six at speeds up to 325 knots, with a range of 1,600 nm. The cockpit features Garmin avionics, and the engine is a Pratt & Whitney PT6-67A. Early this year, Epic purchased a 204,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Bend that was formerly owned by Columbia and later by Cessna. At Sun 'n Fun, the company was showing a cabin mockup and a couple of the original kit airplanes.