Victory Is In The Air For Epic Aircraft

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Epic Aircraft CEO Rick Schrameck confirmed to AVweb that the company's very light jet (VLJ) single, dubbed Victory, made its maiden flight on Friday at 7:30 a.m. from the Redmond (Ore.) Airport. The Friday morning flight lasted about 50 minutes, during which time Epic test pilot Len Fox flew the Williams FJ33-4A-powered airplane with the gear extended to examine its basic flight characteristics at altitudes up to 14,000 feet. The all-composite jet single took a few more laps in the air on Friday afternoon and over the weekend, and at press time it had logged about seven hours, Schrameck said. He noted that the five-place aircraft is performing well, and added that it needed only 1,500 feet of runway to land after its initial jaunt. The Victory's achievement is astonishing given its short seven-month design to first flight timeline (rivaling that of the famed P-51 Mustang), as well as because it follows the first flight of the company's other clean-sheet jet -- the Elite Jet twin-engine VLJ -- by only a month. Epic plans to bring the Victory to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., along with the Elite Jet and the Epic LT and Dynasty turboprop singles. "It's our people that made this first flight happen in such a short time," Schrameck said, while he also offered praise to the FAA's Seattle MIDO and Portland FSDO for working overtime to process the paperwork that authorized the jet single to actually become airborne. The $1 million experimental version of the Victory will sport Garmin G900 avionics, while a planned certified copy will come with the Garmin G1000 system. Schrameck promised more details on the previously unannounced certified version later this month at AirVenture ("Stay tuned," he mused), but Epic's Web site shows that the Victory will fly up to FL280, cruise at more than 320 knots and have a range of about 1,200 nm at a more modest 250 knots.