Las Vegas-based Epic Aircraft has maintained a low profile since the company announced its composite turboprop single at EAA AirVenture last year, but has been making progress on its prototype. In March, the company removed the fuselage for the first airplane from the molds at its facility in Bend, Ore., while the composite wings were completed in February. First flight for the six-seat airplane is expected the week of July 4, with certification following in the first quarter of 2006.
The startup company is privately financed, and co-owner and CEO Rick Schrameck told AIN he is not currently seeking any more funding. Educated as a biochemist, Schrameck spent 20 years managing high-technology businesses before he “retired in 1999 to play with airplanes.” He was president and CEO of Verecomm, a communications software group, a general manager at Radius and FIC Computers and led Motorola’s Apple Portable Clone business. He also founded RDI, a Unix-based portable computer company that he subsequently sold. Schrameck and Dennis Mortensen, a mechanical engineer and pilot who is not involved with Epic, founded Aero Supercharger Solutions, also in Las Vegas, in 2001.
Working with Vortech Superchargers of Oxnard, Calif., they developed a belt-driven, centrifugal supercharger, which they installed in the Continental IO-550 in Schrameck’s Lancair Legacy homebuilt. Mortensen designed and fabricated all the parts needed to mount the supercharger, while Schrameck designed the supercharger, including the intake and fuel-injection system. Their combined efforts gave Schrameck’s Legacy the boost needed to break the world speed record in its class at the 2002 Reno competition with a speed of 345 mph.
Although the first Epic LT is being built in Bend, Schrameck told AIN that a 15,000-sq-ft assembly and completion facility for the Epic is being constructed on the west side of North Las Vegas Airport. Parts will be manufactured offshore, but because the contract is not yet final, he could not reveal the location.