Epic Is Back, With A Stack Of New Designs

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Rick Schrameck, CEO of Epic Aircraft, launched back-to-back news conferences this week -- one on Tuesday and another on Wednesday -- to show off a handful of new designs available to the experimental market. On Tuesday, he unveiled a scale model of a twin-engine turboprop named Elegance that he called a "next-generation King Air," which can be built in several different versions with seating for 8 to 11. Prices range from about $2 million up to about $5.5 million for a fully certified factory-built airplane. He said he is also working on a five-passenger twinjet that will fly later this year, which will sell for about $1.9 million in the experimental version, or about $2.3 million certified. On Wednesday, he brought out two more models, which he said were his original designs when he launched the company back in the summer of 2000. Now he is bringing them out with new options. The single-engine Focus is available in four versions, from a Rotax-powered LSA to a two-seat turboprop with cruise speeds above 400 knots. The five-seat Polar airplane is available with turbine or piston power.

Schrameck also said the company is working with the FAA to certify its Escape and LT single-engine turboprops, but they are taking it slow to keep costs under control. As for all the other models, he said he plans to move some of them along to certification as well, but will let the market decide which ones will take priority. Epic over the last few years had flirted with Canadian and Russian certification for its composite aircraft, but now is moving forward with the FAA. The company had announced a partnership with Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya about a year and a half ago, but Schrameck said this week that deal is on hold.