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FAA certifies next-generation turboprop from Epic Aircraft

The new model, the E1000 GX, is equipped with a Garmin GFC 700 Automated Flight Control System and a Hartzell five-blade composite propeller, the upgrades offering improved performance, safety, comfort, and versatility over the original model certified in 2019.

The aircraft, powered by a Pratt & Whitney 1,200-horsepower PT6A-67A engine, is derived from the Epic LT, a kitbuilt airplane that has been marketed since 2005.

The Garmin GFC 700, an advanced attitude and heading reference system (AHRS)-based flight control system, provides flight director, autopilot, yaw damper, automatic trim, emergency descent protection, coupled go-around, and other capabilities.

“The Garmin GFC 700 is a truly superior product, offering full integration with our G1000 NXi equipped flight deck, along with impeccable ease of use and advanced safety features. It’s a perfect upgrade to our world-class line of E1000 aircraft,” said Epic CEO Doug King in a July 15 news release.

The new propeller’s benefits for the aircraft that can reach a maximum cruise speed of 333 knots, climb at 4,000 feet per minute, fly as high as 34,000 feet, and carry a 1,110-pound full-fuel payload, include “improved speed, climb, range, payload and takeoff performance. Plus, we are experiencing quieter operations inside and outside the cabin,” King said.

The optimized performance of the propeller’s “thinner, wider airfoil” results in better takeoff acceleration and “enhanced speed, versatility and comfort,” the announcement said.

The Epic E1000 GX is priced at $3.85 million with deliveries to customers beginning in July. Its predecessor, the E1000, was the recipient of Flying Magazine’s 2020 Flying Innovation Award that will officially be presented to Epic at EAA AirVenture following a year’s delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Epic Aircraft said.

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