Epic Aircraft received FAA production certification for its carbon-fiber single-engine turboprop E1000 on July 23, following a process extended by the coronavirus pandemic that limited the FAA’s in-person visits to the facility.
“Epic was poised several months ago to complete the FAA Production Audit, a precursor to Production Certificate, when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted plans. FAA-mandated travel limitations restricted onsite visits, which are typically essential to the PC approval process,” the company said in a news release. “The FAA and Epic collaborated to devise new processes, using remote technologies, to conduct the required series of reviews and audits, prior to the final onsite assessment.”
The production certificate allows Epic Aircraft to accelerate E1000 deliveries by “enabling them to manufacture, flight test and issue airworthiness certificates with reduced FAA presence,” the company said, noting it has already delivered three in 2020.
The six-seat aircraft is powered by a Pratt & Whitney 1,200-horsepower PT6A-67A engine and can reach a max cruise speed of 333 knots, climb at 4,000 feet per minute, fly as high as 34,000 feet, and carry a 1,110-pound full-fuel payload, according to the company. The production aircraft is a version of the kit-built Epic LT that the company has been selling since 2005.