Anticipated FAA certification of the $2.95 million Epic E1000 turboprop single has slipped six months, to the first quarter of 2017, due to the need to redesign "about four parts" in the wing, CEO Doug King told AIN on Tuesday at EAA AirVenture 2016. King said the delay was "unfortunate," but "one of things we weren't going to do was compromise the performance of the airplane. Some of the engineers said that if we just lower the gross weight or drop the speed down we could lower some of these loads." But King said he resisted all suggestions to compromise the aircraft's performance and insisted on an engineering solution even when it meant a further program delay.
"We took the time and got through that and I am happy to report that our wing passed structural testing," he said. King said the E1000's main differences from the Epic LT kitplane include the addition of an emergency exit, different pressurization, air conditioning, lighting systems, several switches and a few structural changes. "But the really big difference is that we are certifying this airplane [the E1000] to Flight Level 340," he said, compared to FL280 for the LT. "To go an extra 6,000 feet is a really big deal."
He said Epic expects the E1000 to have a full fuel payload of 1,100 pounds and a range of "at least 1,600 nautical miles and at [Flight Level] 340 a lot more, but I don't know what that number is." At its service ceiling, King said Epic predicts that the E1000 will cruise at better than 300 knots while burning 40 gph. He said the E1000 will have best-in-class "real world" speed. "Point-to-point we are the fastest thing out there," he added.
King said orders sit at just more than 60 and that plans called for an initial production run of one aircraft per month following certification next year, gradually ramping up to one aircraft per week "once we reach full production, and we're going to get there as quickly as possible."