Bend's Epic Air Spreading Its Wings
Brought Back From Bankruptcy By Russian Firm
Epic Air has been flying on a wing and a prayer for the last two years -- in and out of bankruptcy.
But a Russian company, Engineering LLC, just put the wind back beneath the Bend-based kit plane maker's wings.
"They want it to be here, be in the United States -- they want us to hire and support the local workers and grow he business right here in Bend," Epic Air CEO Doug King said Thursday.
Now the company will be going by a bit longer name; Epic Aircraft.
King says the name perfectly describes their high-flying luxury product.
"Not everybody's seen an Epic aircraft, and they don't all know just how wonderful, efficient and fast this airplane is," King said.
Then he asked me if I wanted to take a flight.
I'm not one to turn down a free ride, so I hopped into a Epic LT, with pilot Rich Finley.
For years, the company has only built kit airplanes, personal use aircraft that the buyer finishes putting together.
"If you think about a small business jet, this airplane burns half the gas and gets you there just as fast," King said.
The sale of Epic Air is putting it on the fast track to making FAA-certified, fully factory-built planes.
It's a move that will take the company to new heights with the other 90 percent of the airline industry.
It's been a turbulent ride, but the Bend plane maker is finally back from bankruptcy.
Epic Aircraft plans to hire 10 people right away and double their 27 person staff by next year.
King says they're hiring for highly technical positions . So if you think you might be qualified, this could be your chance to join a high-flying local company.
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