“Now’s the time to invest.”
That is exactly what Rick Schrameck, president of Epic Aircraft, is doing.
In a flurry of announcements on Tuesday and Wednesday at Sun ‘n Fun, Schrameck shed light on Epic aircraft that are coming to market, as well as some market research he is conducting.
First up, the Focus is a two-seat aircraft that, from the firewall back, will be of one design – and a single part, for that matter. From firewall forward, there are multiple options and, depending on engine selection, the wing will change slightly.
The Focus can be an LSA with a Rotax 912 or a fixed or retractable gear cruiser sporting an IO-390, -540 or -550. For those wishing to pick up the pace, drop a TSIO-720 under the cowl and take it to Reno.
The Focus was a project Schrameck started in 2000, then put aside to “work on something bigger.” With the LSA market showing some strength, now is the time to dust off the two-seat design and start building, he said.
The Focus is a product of his newly formed Quick-Turn Aerospace, LLC of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Schrameck, who said an LSA version of the Focus will fly to AirVenture in July, has preliminary pricing pegged at $115,000 to $120,000. As for the non-LSA version, Schrameck was coy when posed the pricing question, but said it will be priced lower than competitive products – “I guarantee it!” A look at the spec sheet shows Schrameck clearly has the Lancair Legacy in his sights.
In addition to the Focus, Quick-Turn – the name harkens back to Schrameck’s racing days sponsor – also is developing the Polar, which is a 4+1 seat aircraft that can carry either a piston or turbine engine.
The Polar, according to Schrameck, has seen strong interest from the Chinese and Indian markets. The need for Jet-A capable aircraft is the driver overseas, but the 100LL option is available for US customers. Interestingly, the aircraft will not be pressurized (or lightly pressurized – 3.5-4 psi).
Next is some market analysis. Schrameck didn’t announce new aircraft models at his Tuesday press conference, but some market survey work, in the form of aircraft.
Schrameck is testing the waters to see what customers might be interested in. All ideas are based on the original LT fuselage and will be scaled either up or down.
The study is looking at three models: The Escape Twin will hang two Rolls Royce 600s on the wing and have 5+1 seating; the Dynasty Twin (the certificated version of the LT) will run two 900 shp motors, will come in under 12,500 pounds, “could be” powered by Honeywell motors, and carry six people at 390 kts; while the Elegance, affectionately being called the “BLT” for Big LT, will seat eight to 11 people and carry two 120-shp engines.
Schrameck cited the King Air 350 as a comparison aircraft. “The King Air is a great airplane, so we might as well emulate that one,” he said.
Whichever versions are chosen to be developed will follow the typical Epic development method: Experimental first, followed by certification.
Pricing will range from $2.5 million to $5.5 million, Schrameck added.
Schrameck said that Epic “will not develop the aircraft in any particular order, but will do what the market tells them to do. But now is the time to invest.”
Next up is the Genesis, which Schrameck calls the “Eclipse killer.” It will fly this year, because Schrameck wants to it to fly.
The Genesis will have a 5,950-pound gross weight, be outfitted with two 1,100-pound thrust engines, seat six (5+1), and cruise at 385+ knots for 1,100-1,200 miles. As usual with Epic, the Genesis will start in the experimental class, priced at $1.9 million. Once certified, it will sell for $2.3 million.
Current projects also abound at Epic. For example, the first flying model of the Escape, which was customer built, is on site this week, flown from Oregon with gear down.
Owner Don Day is ecstatic with the plane. He believes in turbine reliability, loves the short takeoff and landing capabilities, the fact it will fit in a typical T-hangar, and the fact that Epic removed the complexity.
“It is easy to operate, which makes it a fine aircraft for me,” he said.
For more information: EpicAircraft.com