Epic Delivers First Two Certified E1000s


After a 16-year history with more twists and turns than a Robert Ludlum novel, Epic Aircraft has delivered two certified E1000 high-performance single turboprops and plans to fill its order book as soon as possible. The Bend, Oregon, company, which occupies the former Columbia/Cessna facilities at the airport there, has orders from all over the world for the plane, which cruises at the near-jet speed of 330 knots and climbs at 4,000 feet per minute. “This is a true performance aircraft able to compete directly with my Phenom 100, but at less than half the operating cost. Plus, it provides access to shorter airstrips that jets just can’t reach,” Lawrence Brooke, one of the first new owners, is quoted as saying in an Epic news release. “Epic is an innovative company that complements its exceptional engineering and technology with a highly personalized approach to doing business.”

That personal touch could be the result of the company’s rather unusual beginnings. It started as a kit company with a 49 percent build assist program in Bend. That scheme ended in a legal mess that resulted in the original CEO Rick Schramek eventually being arrested and charged criminally but it also left seven partly-built aircraft in the original facility in Bend. The owner of one of those planes, Doug King, eventually took over the company in a court-ordered partnership with a Chinese company before one of the richest families in Russia bought the whole works and funded the certification program. The pandemic has hampered the ramping up of production but the company is figuring that out. King, who is still the CEO, said the employees have “persevered, engineered, and improvised in order to keep our production lines moving, so we can deliver planes and meet customer expectations.” 

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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