Bend, Ore.-based Epic Aircraft is hiring engineers as it presses toward certification of a factory-built version of its Epic LT kitbuilt turboprop, the company said at AOPA Aviation Summit Oct. 11.
Now under Russian ownership, the company plans to certify the E1000 by late 2014 or early 2015, Epic said in a media briefing. It will certify the aircraft as is, in order to speed the certification process, said Mike Schrader, head of sales and marketing. Attendees can see the pressurized, six-seat, carbon-composite turboprop at the aircraft display outside the convention center in Palm Springs, Calif.
The E1000 will be just like the Epic LT, with a few changes, he said. The LT cruises at up to 325 knots, has a maximum payload with full fuel of 1,170 pounds, and has a range at economy cruise (268 knots) of 1,600 nautical miles. Epic announced in July that it had signed a long-term agreement with Pratt & Whitney Canada to power the E1000 with the PT6A-67A engine.
Epic is led by CEO Doug King, an owner of an Epic turboprop who organized a group of customers to purchase the assets of the company after it entered bankruptcy in 2009. The builders’ group was able to resume manufacturing in Oregon while a Chinese company obtained the rights to sell the aircraft outside of North America in a deal worked out by the bankruptcy judge. A Russian maintenance, repair, and overhaul company bought Epic in early 2012, and Schrader said there is no more Chinese involvement, except the rights to some drawings and designs.