Epic Aircraft parent company Aircraft Investor Resources (AIR) and Tbilisi Aircraft Manufacturing (TAM) in June further cemented their joint venture to develop the eight-seat TAM-AIR Elite Jet for the CIS market. The sole Elite Jet prototype will be based temporarily at TAM’s facility at Tbilisi International Airport in the republic of Georgia for demonstration and marketing purposes.
During a ceremony marking the twinjet’s debut in Tbilisi, Epic CEO Rick Schrameck announced that the Elite Jet will be certified first in Russia, with TAM leading and funding this effort. TAM will also manufacture the all-composite very light jet for the CIS market. Schrameck told AIN that he expects to obtain Transport Canada, FAA and EASA approvals (in that order) later next year for the company’s Dynasty turboprop single, with the Elite and single-engine Victory VLJ following the same certification path about two years later. Schrameck was unable to give a timeline estimate on TAM’s Russian certification efforts. The Dynasty, Victory and non-CIS-bound Elite Jets will be produced by Epic “somewhere in North America,” Schrameck said, though not necessarily at the company’s plant in Bend, Ore.\