Talk about your Epic homecomings. This week, a flight of six company- and owner-flown Epic LT aircraft landed at AirVenture Oshkosh to cap off a 21-day around-the-world trip. And, yes, everything about the Epic voyage was epic.
Departing from Oshkosh on July 7, the tour took participants to 21 cities in nine countries, some 16,407 nautical miles in all. “The goal was to build a community,” said Epic CEO Doug King. “As pilots, it was a real learning experience to have to learn to fly in all of these countries. We’re all much better pilots now.”
Still, for some participants, the “learn to fly” aspect was a bit more literal than for others. Greg and Stacy Duffy, San Francisco-based owners, had just bought an Epic as their first plane. Greg had previous rotorwing experience, but let’s just say the first cross-country flights in his logbook are going to look very impressive.
Not that the 26-person team was without help. Epic arranged for professional pilots on each aircraft, just to keep everyone flying right. They also ferried extra tires, jacks, parts—whatever they could think of that might go wrong in, say, Russia or Iceland. In the end, none of it was needed, with the planes proving their rugged capabilities in 51 hours of flight.
The hardest part of the journey, Duffy said, was the Oshkosh arrival in loose formation. On his final approach, a Cessna turned in front of his plane, and Duffy had to go up and around at full power, demonstrating the awesome climb performance of the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67A turboprop engine.
Now that the team is home, Epic’s attention turns once again to certification of the currently experimental plane. CEO King estimates Spring 2017 for the certified E1000 version, which is taking orders at a $2.95 million price.
The E1000 version will be much the same as the experimental, but it should be able to cruise 6,000 feet higher at flight level 340, with all the fuel and range advantages of the extra altitude.
How fast will it go? Don’t just take the brochure’s word for it: There’s real-world data now to suggest that you might circumnavigate the globe in varied conditions at a nice average 318 knots ground speed. That, too, is really sort of epic.
Learn more at Epic Aircraft.