Epic Aircraft continues development of its all-composite turboprop singles and very light jets, though without the $200 million in funding Indian billionaire Dr. Vijay Mallya pledged last September at the NBAA Convention.
Epic Aircraft has selected the Honeywell TPE331-10A turboprop engine for its newest aircraft, the Epic Escape, the engine maker announced here. In its Escape configuration, the engine produces 940 shp, giving the aircraft 1,800 nm of range and a 360-knot maximum cruise speed.
In the past, turboprop singles used for business flying typically did not offer the speed, load capability or systems redundancy of turboprop twins, though singles have amassed a comparable safety record. But the differences between them are disappearing with the advent of new breed of turboprop singles destined to enter the market in the next two or three years.
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.
Flush with a $200 million cash infusion from Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya and a $170 million order book, turboprop and VLJ maker Epic Aircraft announced that it is in initial talks with Airbus on a technology- and knowledge-sharing agreement. However, Epic CEO Rick Schrameck backed away from a statement he made on Tuesday that the value of the Airbus alliance would equal or exceed Mallya’s investment in the company.
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.
“Stay tuned–it’s going to be an interesting company,” Epic Aircraft CEO Rick Schrameck told AIN today, confirming speculation that he has been in talks with Vijay Mallya, chairman of Kingfisher Airlines parent company UB Group, about Mallya acquiring a controlling stake in the start-up aircraft manufacturer.
At EAA AirVenture, Epic Aircraft’s single-engine Victory jet made its first public appearance. The Williams International FJ33-4 that powers the prototype might not power the production Victory. According to Epic, the company has not yet made the final engine selection for the Victory, but it is considering the FJ33-4 and the P&WC PW615 or 617.
Epic’s Elite VLJ made its maiden flight on June 7 from Redmond, Ore.’s Roberts Field. Performance projections for the Elite, which is powered by two Williams International FJ33-4 turbofans, include 410-knot maximum speed, 1,600-nm range with reserves at economy cruise and 1,330-pound payload with full fuel. Construction of the six- to eight-seat jet is all carbon fiber; avionics are Garmin’s G900X system.
Holding to a schedule announced last year, Epic Aircraft of Las Vegas flew its prototype Epic LT for the first time on July 17, from Redmond Airport, Ore., not far from the company’s research and development facility in Bend, where the airplane was assembled. Dave Morss was the test pilot.