Rick Schrameck, president and CEO of high performance airplane manufacturer Epic Aircraft, announced a partnership with Indian billionaire Dr. Vijay Mallya at the NBAA convention Sept. 25.
The deal gives Epic the ability to “accelerate the process of bringing the company’s growing line of aircraft to the certified market, as well as strengthening its relationships with customers and vendors world wide,” the announcement stated.
“Epic was really looking for a strategic partner, not just an investor,” Schrameck explained at the convention. “Dr. Mallya now has a significant interest in our company, and we will immediately benefit from his relationships with a variety of companies, including Airbus and Pratt & Whitney.”
Mallya owns Kingfisher Airlines, a private carrier in India. Kingfisher was among the first to order the Airbus A-380 and is among Airbus’s largest customers. He also is chairman of United Breweries Group, a multinational conglomerate. His passions include aviation and cars, said Schrameck. Mallya has won races on international car racing circuits, said Schrameck, who also holds records in automobile racing and from the Reno Air Races.
“I am very excited about the phenomenal opportunities that Epic has in the industry today, and this strategic investment will pave the way for the company to embark on an unprecedented growth trajectory,” Mallya said.
“It’s a great relationship,” Schrameck added. “Vijay already has brought Airbus into the role of consultants for our certification programs.”
Epic currently is flight testing its Dynasty 1,200-hp single-engine turboprop and recently unveiled two Very Light Jets, the twin-engine Elite and single-engine Victory. The jets will begin their certification process immediately following certification of the Dynasty, Schrameck said earlier this year.
Epic booked more than $23 million dollars worth of orders at Sun ‘n Fun in April and another $40 million worth three months later at AirVenture.
Three GA fractional companies have come together to launch the Professionally Managed Aircraft Association. Officials from the founding companies, AirShares Elite, iFly and PlaneSmart!, hope to establish a code of professional standards and conduct for the industry while promoting the benefits of GA fractional ownership.
One of those companies, iFly, co-founded by Erik Lindbergh, recently celebrated its first anniversary by opening a new base at Gibbs Flying Service, on San Diego’s Montgomery Field (MYF).
iFly launched last September offering access to a managed fleet of Columbia 350s based at six Southern California airports.
Paul Bonhomme landed at the top of the standings in the 2007 Red Bull Air Race World Series, after winning in San Diego. The British pilot celebrated his 43rd birthday with 50,000 spectators watching him finish the race with a time of 1:23.80.
The ninth stop of the 10-leg world series tour helped narrow the competitive battle for the 2007 world championship title. American Kirby Chambliss came in second at 1:24.69, with British race pilot Nigel Lamb at his heels in third place.
FAA recently issued a letter of deviation for warbird owners to conduct proficiency flights beyond the current 300 nm radius of operation for piston-powered aircraft and 600 nm for turbine aircraft. The letter came after the Warbirds of America division of EAA asked the FAA to ease the burden on many warbird owners when they are flying training missions.
Swift Aviation Group has been named official FBO of Super Bowl XLII. The designation allows Swift to provide Super Bowl-related promotional and hospitality programs to visitors who use the company’s FBO at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Arizona. The Super Bowl is slated for Feb. 3, 2008, at the University of Phoenix stadium.