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PICTURE: Maiden sortie for second Epic Aircraft E1000 prototype

Epic Aircraft flew the second and final E1000 flight-test aircraft on 23 January, and is preparing the high-performance single-engined turboprop for certification and service entry in the third quarter of 2018.

The production-conforming example – known as FT2, and carrying the registration N332FT – will be used to assess interior and cabin functionality as well as the fuel, hydraulic, avionics, navigational and environmental systems, the company says. It joins the first prototype, which kicked off the certification campaign in December 2015 and has since notched up around 500 flying hours at Epic’s Bend, Oregon base.

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Epic Aircraft

The E1000 is a certificated version of the LT kit plane. The company stopped selling that model in 2013 after producing 54 units – two of which are still being assembled by their owners under Epic’s supervision.

The airframer boasts an orderbook for around 80 E1000s, and is targeting an eventual annual production rate of 50 units a year.

Epic is holding off on releasing final performance numbers for the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67A-powered aircraft until the type is closer to certification, but preliminary data pegs maximum cruise speed at 325kt (600km/h), range at 1,650nm (3,060km), with a 34,000ft ceiling.

Equipped with a Garmin G1000NXi flightdeck, the all-composite aircraft is priced at $3.25 million – about $1.3 million more than the LT.

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