Epic Poised To Become Major Bizav Player

 - September 26, 2007, 10:46 AM

Flush with a $200 million cash infusion from Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya and a $170 million order book, turboprop and very light jet maker Epic Aircraft announced today at the NBAA Convention that it is in initial talks with EADS unit Airbus Industries on a technology- and knowledge-sharing agreement. Epic CEO Rick Schrameck said his company would benefit from an Airbus alliance in terms of better understanding European aircraft certification requirements and that Airbus could be interested in Epic’s composites expertise. Arnaud Martin, Airbus vice president of corporate and VIP jet programs, characterized the discussions as “very preliminary” and declined to further elaborate. Schrameck says a delegation from Airbus is expected to visit the Epic factory in Bend, Ore., next month. Mallya owns 60 businesses, including United Beverage Group, Kingfisher Airlines and Air Deccan, and has used personal funds for his 50-percent stake in the fledgling aircraft manufacturer.