Best Of The Best 2006: Pushing The Envelope
If you think the term “kit plane” applies only to little two-seaters that you build in your garage, Epic Air CEO Rick Schrameck wants you to reconsider. The Epic LT is a six-seat, pressurized turboprop with a sleek, swept-back design that pushes the Federal Aviation Authority limits on what qualifies as an owner-built aircraft.
Buyers build the planes at the factory with comprehensive assistance from Epic. Four copies of the aircraft have taken flight since the FAA approved the process last December, 10 more are in the works, and an additional 45 are on order. The LT achieves a 333 mph cruising speed at 30,000 feet and a range of 1,840 miles. The kit, which can be readied for flight in about six months, is priced at $1.25 million; a prebuilt and fully certified version should be available in a year or two for $1.9 million.