The FAA has granted Type Certification for Epic Aircraft‘s E1000 all carbon fiber aircraft design after a “rigorous seven-year program,” according to company officials.
The Epic E1000 — a high performance, all composite, six-seat single-engine turboprop — is based on the company’s experimental Epic LT model, which was introduced in 2005 through an owner-assist build program at Epic headquarters in Bend, Oregon.
“Transitioning that design into a certified version was the chance to offer a truly compelling product to the industry, a ‘no comprises’ aircraft that customers would really want. And they do,” said CEO Doug King.
Epic has more than 80 confirmed E1000 reservations from customers in the U.S., as well as Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Russia, South Africa, and Australia, according to King.
The first seven E1000 customer aircraft are in various stages of fabrication, bonding and assembly, with initial deliveries slated to begin this year.
Epic has doubled its composite fabrication capacity, invested heavily in tooling, equipment, curing ovens, and refined workflows to accelerate the ramp up of E1000 production, according to officials. Now at 300 employees strong, the company is running two production shifts, with plans to further expand operations, officials add.
Production certification — which is FAA approval to manufacture additional aircraft under the FAA-approved Type Certificate — is targeted for the first quarter of 2020.
“The FAA has a difficult job, overseeing a very challenging process, ultimately aimed at keeping us all safe,” King said. “They have been a great partner, collaborating with us throughout the program, and certainly contributing to the structural integrity and safety of the E1000. We are very excited to begin this new chapter in the Epic Aircraft story.”