Epic Aircraft announced it has completed the structural testing program for the Epic E1000 single-engine turboprop. The company has been flying two test airplanes, FT1 with more than 525 flight hours and the fully conforming FT2, which started flying in January, with more than 100 flight hours. Flight testing with designated FAA test pilots has begun and they will start flying FT2 next week.
Some highlights of the structural testing that the Epic airplane has gone through is pressurization testing to 18 PSI and ultimate load testing to 19,044 pounds and 31 inches of wing deflection. More than 50 conditions were run through with the control systems, such as abrupt full control deflections with the airplane loaded and unloaded.
The company has purchased the former Columbia/Cessna facility on the east side of the runway at the Bend Municipal Airport, expanding its footprint to more than 300,000 square feet. The certified E1000 is expected to cruise at 325 knots and have a range of 1,650 nm with a 45 gph fuel burn. Full fuel payload is an impressive 1,100 pounds.
Epic is working on type certification and production certification concurrently and expects the FAA sign-off by the end of this year with first deliveries early next year. The initial production schedule is for eight to 12 airplanes in 2019, ramping up to 24 in 2020 and eventually 50 deliveries in 2022 and beyond. Epic has taken deposits for more than 85 E1000s.