Epic Aircraft received FAA production certification for the E1000, clearing the way for the Bend, Oregon company to ramp up manufacturing of its carbon-fiber, six-seat turboprop single. A production certificate (PC) authorizes the manufacture of duplicate products under an FAA-approved type. With the PC, Epic can manufacture, flight test, and issue airworthiness certificates with reduced FAA presence, the company said.
Epic CEO Doug King called the PC a validation of the extensive efforts and investments made in its manufacturing and quality control systems. “Achieving FAA production certificate is a tremendous milestone,” King said. “It is a rigorous process involving the approval of a vast number of documents, processes, and systems, with composites adding additional complexity.” Approval was the culmination of a process that began years ago in tandem with the certification of the E1000. The company was awarded type certification in November of 2019.
The Covid-19 pandemic and associated travel restriction pushed off the production audit—a precursor to certification, Epic noted. But the FAA worked with the manufacturer to develop new processes, including the use of remote technologies, to complete as much advance review and audit work as possible before the final on-site assessment.
“We applaud the FAA for their rapid adoption of these new tools and technologies in the face of this pandemic, allowing us to keep the PC process moving forward and ultimately achieving final approvals,” commented King.
Epic, which announced the first two customer deliveries in May, has since delivered a third aircraft but now plans to accelerate production schedules, the company said.
Powered by the Pratt & Whitney 1,200-shp PT6A-67A, the E1000 has a top cruise speed of 333 knots, climbs at a rate of 4,000 feet per minute, can fly up to 34,000 feet, and has a 1,100-pound full fuel payload.