Epic Aircraft has revised its certification schedule for its E1000 single-engine turboprop and now plans first deliveries in the first half of 2016. At a media briefing in advance of AirVenture Oshkosh 2015, spokeswoman Gale Evans said the next milestone will be the first flight of the first conforming flight test aircraft by the end of August. She said two more test aircraft are under construction and the company is hoping to achieve production certification in the same time frame as the aircraft certification so deliveries can begin immediately. She said the company has almost completed its production line and it’s anticipated the flight test program will go smoothly. CEO Doug King said Epic’s path to certification is different than that of other designs because the aircraft is already in production as an experimental aircraft through the company’s builder assist program.
“We have taken advantage of the collective knowledge and experience gained through building 50 Epic kits and applied it directly to our E1000 design and certification efforts,” he said. “That is a huge advantage.” King, who was one of the kit builders who helped rescue the failing company about six years ago, said the process is being documented in a series of videos that will be available on its website. “Our manufacturing program is very mature,” he said. “We are investing heavily in production tooling, systems and factory infrastructure.” The company is also building an inventory of production parts so that the targeted production of one airplane a week will get underway as soon as possible.