Epic Aircraft announced at Oshkosh this week that it had completed all of its internal flight testing leading up to certification and has received its type inspection authorization. That means the Epic has passed the last hurdle before the FAA begins its flight-test review. Certification is expected in 2020.
“The FAA wants to get pilots into the airplane before issuing the TC [type certificate], so they understand the airplane,” says Doug King, Epic’s CEO.
As part of the certification process, the E1000 received an improved induction system for the Pratt & Whitney PT6A, resulting in improved climb and cruise performance, as well as a new stick shaker/pusher system.
The decision to certify the Epic, which started as an experimental/amateur-built design, came in 2012, but the road to approval has been blocked by legislative delays and even the most recent government shutdown. “But we also had to build a team to build an airplane, and that’s a big deal,” says King.
Production will begin shortly after the type certificate and production certificates are approved; the PC is being sought in tandem with the TC. King says that the first three customer aircraft are already under construction in Bend, Oregon. The 300,000-square-foot facility will build one aircraft a month to start but is designed to build as many as one a week. Including a full Garmin avionics suite the 333-knot Epic carries 1100 pounds and costs $3.25 million.