(Photo courtesy of Epic Aircraft, LLC)
The Epic E1000 prototype FT1, sporting tail number N331FT, took its first flight on Saturday afternoon, December 19th, at approximately 16:00 from the Bend Municipal Airport (KBDN). Upon completion of the scheduled 20 minute flight, Epic Chief Pilot, David Robinson, reported “The aircraft handled extremely well and performed just as expected.”
“This is a tremendous accomplishment and I couldn’t be more proud of our team. We achieved our goal to fly FT1 by the end of the year, thanks to the hard work, long hours and dedicated commitment of our entire staff. The timing just before Christmas gives us even more to celebrate this holiday season,” adds Epic CEO, Doug King.
FT1 testing will continue over the next several months, assessing general handling qualities, operational performance, systems operations in normal mode, failure scenarios, extreme conditions, and Flight Into Known Icing (FIKI) regulations.
The second and final flight test article, FT2, is scheduled to launch this spring, and will reflect as closely as possible the E1000 production aircraft, both in equipment and manufacturing process. FT2 testing will focus on assessing interior and cabin functionality, including fuel, hydraulic, avionics, navigational and environmental systems.
The E1000 design perfectly addresses the market need for a high speed, low-cost aircraft that can efficiently support individual owner pilots, as well as corporate, fractional and charter operations. The company expects the E1000 to be a formidable competitor in the single-engine turboprop market, as well as offer business jet owners a more versatile, lower-cost platform.
“Traditional metal aircraft are at a tremendous disadvantage. Carbon fiber is lighter, stronger, more aerodynamic and less expensive to manufacture, providing more speed, range, payload, and performance at a highly competitive price. That’s why the E1000 will be the fastest, most versatile and affordable, six-place single-engine turboprop in the world,” says King.
Competitively priced at $2.95 million ‘fully-equipped’, the sleek E1000 all-composite airframe, powered by the 1200-horsepower Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67A turbine engine, travels at speeds over 325 KTAS, offering a range of 1,650 nautical miles, climb rate over 4,000 feet per minute, authorized ceiling of 34,000 feet, and full fuel payload of 1,120 pounds.
ABOUT EPIC AIRCRAFT
Headquartered in Bend, Oregon, Epic Aircraft is aprivately-held, design-driven aviation company that conducts all of its engineering and manufacturing operations in the United States. Epic specializes in the design and manufacture of high performance, all composite, six-seat single-engine, turboprop aircraft.The company currently employs over 200 full-time staff. For more information about Epic Aircraft, please visit: www.epicaircraft.com.