The company, based in Bend, Oregon, and led by CEO Doug King, is working toward certification of the six-seat, composite E1000, a factory version of the Epic LT kit, a speedster that was nearly lost to bankruptcy in 2009. Fresh investment in 2012 fueled development of a factory version of the 325-knot single-engine turboprop that is able to climb 4,000 feet per minute and cover 1,650 nautical miles carrying full fuel along with another 1,100 pounds of passengers and gear. The company has been steadily reporting progress in recent years, hiring dozens of new workers in 2014 and launching the first factory prototype for certification testing in December.
“This is an incredible opportunity for Epic owners to enhance their skills and expand their horizons, while experiencing some truly remarkable places,” King said in a July 14 press release updating the group’s progress. "Now that we are in the process of certifying the E1000 version, what better way to demonstrate our exceptional speed, range, payload, and versatility than to fly a fleet of Epics around the world?”According to a company spokeswoman, Epic contacted a group of owners several months ago to see who’s up for a trip around the world. The itinerary was set after coordinating schedules. King, in the press release, suggested it was not a hard sell.
“Our aircraft tends to attract customers who are seeking more, not settling for the ordinary, who possess a keen sense of adventure and an appreciation for the role technology plays in achieving superior performance,” King said.
The six Epic turboprops are expected to cover 15,000 nautical miles in 50 flight hours. The company is also updating its Facebook page as the journey progresses, and they seem to be finding time for good meals and sightseeing along the way, notwithstanding the demands of flying to a new city nearly every day.