Epic Aircraft has unveiled ambitious plans for two new high-end, all-composite kitplanes as it works to certificate its first production design. Windtunnel models of the single-turboprop Escape and single-jet Victory were displayed at the Sun 'n' Fun show in Lakeland, Florida last week.

"These aircraft share the same pressure vessel and completely the same wing," says chief executive Rick Schrameck. The five-seat Escape will be a 92%-scale version of Epic's first design, the LT kitplane, the size reduction giving the aircraft a higher, 365kt (675km/h) maximum cruise speed on a smaller, 1,000shp (745kW) turboprop.

Powered initially by a Williams International FJ33-4A turbofan, the four-seat Victory very light jet has an estimated 320kt maximum cruise speed. Both aircraft have a 5,500lb (2,500kg) maximum take-off weight, design ceiling of 28,000ft (8,500m) and a pressurised cabin that is 1.43m wide and 1.34m tall.

The Escape "will be the fastest single-engine pressurised aircraft in history", Schrameck believes, saying that both aircraft are "[in] keeping with the Epic mantra: fill it up with people, fill it up with fuel - go full distance and full speed". Estimated range with full passengers is 2,400km (1,300nm) for the Escape and 2,200km for the Victory.

Epic plans to fly the Victory at the AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in July, alongside its Epic LT, Elite twinjet kitplane and the single-turboprop Dynasty now undergoing certification in Canada. "We are on fuselage number three, and we will deliver six aircraft to customers before the end of 2007 at under $1 million," Schrameck says.

Options, including Garmin avionics, push the cost of the aircraft to $1.2-1.3 million.

The $875,000 Escape will not be at Oshkosh, although Schrameck thinks it will fly into Sun 'n' Fun in 2008. Although Epic is planning to make the kit available in early 2008, to gauge customer interest before proceeding to certification, the company has not yet committed to production versions of either design. "We'll build what the customer wants and certify what the customer wants," he says.

In addition to certificating the Epic LT as the Dynasty, Epic plans a certificated version of the owner-built Elite very-light jet, which is powered by two FJ33-4As, and which it expects to be available by 2009. The Bend, Oregon-based company, meanwhile, has selected Garmin's G900X integrated flightdeck for its kitplanes and certificated G1000 for its production designs.

Source: Flight International