Epic Aircraft is “pushing hard” for certification of its E1000 turboprop by the end of this year, the company said Wednesday. Structural testing is underway, and the first prototype will fly this spring in the first phase of in-flight testing, Epic said. There are more than 60 reservations from buyers and the first deliveries are slated for early 2016. The E1000, priced at $2.95 million, will feature six seats and speeds up to 325 knots. This fall, Epic plans to launch the second phase of flight testing with the first fully conforming prototype. “Certification requires collaboration across the entire organization and with the FAA. It is extremely demanding but also rewarding, when you have an aircraft as exciting as the E1000. We are absolutely focused on reaching the finish line this year,” said Doug King, Epic CEO.
Meanwhile, Epic is preparing a production line at its facility in Bend, Oregon, that will eventually produce one airplane per week. The company also is assembling a customer service program that will include technical and training resources, aircraft monitoring systems and authorized regional service centers. “We are setting up the E1000 assembly line and investing heavily in tooling, equipment, quality systems and training programs to ensure a timely, efficient and aggressive production ramp,” King said. The E1000 is based on the 2004 kit turboprops that were sold under the original Epic Air, which closed down amid legal and financial problems. Former customers took over the operations in Bend and moved to a new manufacturing facility. Epic is now owned by Engineering LLC of Russia.