Oregon-based Epic Aircraft believes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will certify their E1000 single-engined turbo-prop before the end of the year.
The carbon-fibre, 1200-hp six-seater started life as a kit aircraft, with Epic starting the process of certification early in 2016. Originally, the company predicted the FAA would issue the type certificate in 2016, but Epic didn't complete the structural testing until the middle of this year.
"The structural test phase of our program took longer than anticipated," said Epic Aircraft CEO Doug King. "That's because our all carbon-fibre design must conform to FAA-mandated structural strength requirements that are much high than those imposed on metal aircraft."
Epic believe the Type Inspection Authorisation (TIA) to be issued within weeks, which confirms the design, structural and flight test results comply with the regulations. The two test aircraft have together flown 625 hours.
Epic has 85 reservations for build spots, which it plans to start turning into sales to enable the first customer deliveries early next year.
The E1000 is powered a P&WC PT6A-67A turbine spinning a four-blade pully reversing Hartzell propeller. That will give the aircraft a top speed of 325 KTAS and a maximum range at 265 KTAS of 1650 nm. The avionics are Garmin 1000.
More information is on the Epic Aircraft website.