The first prototype Epic E1000—FT1—made its first flight on December 19 at Oregon’s Bend Municipal Airport. The maiden flight was flown by chief pilot David Robinson and lasted 20 minutes. FT1 is the first of two flight-test articles that will be flown for the E1000 FAA certification program, which is expected to be completed by year-end 2016. FT1 flight testing will include general handling qualities, operational performance, systems operations in normal mode, failure scenarios, extreme conditions and flight-into-known-icing testing, according to Epic Aircraft. FT2 is under construction and “will focus on assessing interior and cabin functionality, including fuel, hydraulic, avionics, navigational and environmental systems.”
The $2.95 million, all-composite E1000 is powered by a 1,200-shp (flat-rated) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67A. Performance specifications include a top speed of more than 325 ktas, range of 1,650 nm, maximum altitude 34,000 feet and full-fuel payload of 1,120 pounds. The flight deck is equipped with a three-display Garmin G1000 suite.
Epic Aircraft is already working with the FAA on its production certificate and expects to achieve that late this year, shortly after certification. After ramping up production, Epic expects to build 50 E1000s per year.