Epic Aircraft completed the successful maiden flight of its first conforming prototype E1000 single-engine turboprop, code-named FT1, putting the manufacturer on track to achieve certification later this year.
FT1 made its successful first flight on December 19 from the Bend Municipal Airport. After the 20-minute test hop, Epic chief pilot David Robinson reported, “The aircraft handled extremely well and performed just as expected,” according to an Epic statement.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment, and I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” said Epic CEO Doug King. “We achieved our goal to fly FT1 by the end of the year, thanks to the hard work, long hours and dedicated commitment of our entire staff.”
FT1 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) requirements.
The second and final flight test article, FT2, is scheduled to fly this spring, and will reflect as closely as possible the E1000 production aircraft, both in equipment and manufacturing process, Epic says.
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 is powered by the 1,200-horsepower Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67A turbine engine, giving is a top speed of better than 325 ktas, a max range of 1,650 nautical miles, climb rate over 4,000 feet per minute, ceiling of 34,000 feet, and full-fuel payload of 1,120 pounds.