Sunday’s crash of an Epic LT turboprop single that killed Natalia Fileva, the wife of Epic Aircraft owner and board member Vladislav Filev, won’t have any effect on funding or certification efforts for the Epic E1000, Epic Aircraft director of sales and marketing Mike Schrader told AIN yesterday at the Sun ’n‘ Fun Fly-In and Expo in Lakeland, Florida. “Despite this tragic event, Filev is still solidly behind the company. We are solely focused on finishing certification by the end of this year for the E1000,” he said.
The Bend, Oregon-based company is flying two conforming prototypes of its all-composite turboprop single as it finishes final performance testing and prepares for certification flights with FAA personnel. Flight into known icing or non-paved runway operations approvals will be done post certification.
The first flight test aircraft, FT1, has been conducting performance testing in Tucson, Arizona; Moses Lake, Washington; and Bend, according to Schrader. Meanwhile, FT2 has been used to evaluate the production interior, environmental system, and Garmin G1000NXi avionics, as well as the fuel and hydraulic systems.
Epic finished flutter testing in December and all structural tests are now complete, Schrader said. The company currently holds orders for more than 85 of the $3.25 million turboprop singles.