Leaders at Epic Aircraft have been working for a long time to get what’s called “Type Certification” from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Wednesday, the company threw a party for employees and suppliers to reveal some big news.
Epic’s leaders met with members of the FAA today and were told they”re officially cleared for takeoff.
“It’s amazing to have 300 people, over 300 suppliers, working together for seven years to get one piece of paper,” said Doug King, CEO of Epic Aircraft.
Before the approval, the company sold “kit planes,” which were planes manufactured by Epic, but partially built by the customer at the Epic facility near the Bend Airport.
The FAA certificate allows Epic to design and build the plane from start to finish.
It’s a long time coming. The Bend company been trying to get this certification for the last seven years.
“Countless many hours, countless flight tests, structural testing, you name it, we’ve thrown at this airplane,” said Mike Schrader, director of sales and marketing.
The single engine turboprop plane costs $3.25 million and uses a carbon fiber technology in the airframe.
“It’s a new technology, very high strength, very light weight,” Schrader said.
Epic expects to deliver around 50 planes per year.. That production increase means the company will hire more than 150 new workers within the next two years.
“Now we’re bringing something new into the community,” Schrader said.
King says a few planes are already built and Epic could start delivering the Epic E1000s to customers by December.