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Thu, Dec 07, 2023

Epic E1000 GX Sees FIKI Certification

Single-Engine Turboprop Gets All-Weather Capability

Epic Aircraft's E1000 GX turboprop gained FAA certification for Flight Into Known Icing (FIKI), improving livability and safety for operators in an even greater number of missions. 

The certification was a long time coming, said Epic CEO Doug King. He said it was "one of the most challenging" that the company had faced during E1000 development. "We began testing several years ago, flying the E1000 GX in all of the FAA-specified natural icing conditions. This FAA certification establishes that the E1000 GX can withstand known icing conditions in a real-world operating environment with minimal changes required of the airplane."

The first test flight used a set of artificial 3d-printed ice chunks affixed to an E1000 test bed, with more than 450 flight hours spent across a trio of similar aircraft. The faux ice gave way to real world conditions later in the process, in addition to wind tunnels as they examined a variety of failure modes and error states. All in all, the ice testing saw 18 different icing configurations applied to the E1000 GX, totalling up to more than 280 hours of wind tunnel testing.

The E1000 GX's de-icing suite includes an optical ice detector, de-ice boots on the wings, horizontal stabilizer leading edges, engine inlet, in addition to bleed air heated windshield and electrically heated propeller, air data probes, and AOA sensors.

“Beginning with our first aircraft delivery in 2024, the E1000 GX will incorporate the minimal changes required for FIKI. Previously delivered certified airplanes, including the E1000, will require modifications and will be retrofitted at our factory service center in Bend, Oregon,” said King. “Our goal is to have the existing fleet completed no later than early 2025.”

FMI: www.epicaircraft.com

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