BEND, Ore. – Epic Aircraft achieved a milestone in its E1000 certification program in late December, with the successful maiden flight of its first conforming flight test article, code named FT1. The company remains on track to achieve Type Certificate and begin customer deliveries in 2016, according to company officials.
The Epic E1000 prototype took its first flight Saturday, Dec. 19, from the Bend Municipal Airport (KBDN).
Upon completion of the scheduled 20-minute flight, Epic Chief Pilot David Robinson reported, “The aircraft handled extremely well and performed just as expected.”
Testing will continue over the next several months, assessing general handling qualities, operational performance, systems operations in normal mode, failure scenarios, extreme conditions, and Flight Into Known Icing (FIKI) regulations.
The second and final flight test article, FT2, is scheduled to launch this spring, and will reflect as closely as possible the E1000 production aircraft, both in equipment and manufacturing process. FT2 testing will focus on assessing interior and cabin functionality, including fuel, hydraulic, avionics, navigational and environmental systems.
Priced at $2.95 million, the E1000 all-composite airframe, powered by the 1200-horsepower Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67A turbine engine, travels at speeds over 325 KTAS, offering a range of 1,650 nautical miles, climb rate over 4,000 feet per minute, authorized ceiling of 34,000 feet, and full fuel payload of 1,120 pounds, company officials report.