Epic Aircraft has said it will continue development of its all-composite turboprop single and very light jets, in spite of failing to secure the $200 million in funding promised to it by Indian private airline owner, Vijay Mallya. According to Epic officials, these funds had been pledged to it by Mallya, owner and CEO of Kingfisher Airlines, last September at the NBAA Convention.
However, Epic CEO, Rick Schrameck has emphasised that the deal with Mallya isn't dead. He told industry media that it has only become ''more complicated due to other outside partners.'' This, according to industry sources, is a veiled reference to Airbus's parent company, EADS and, more specifically, its subsidiary Socata, which is also manufacturing a turboprop single–the TBM 850.
The TBM 850 would largely compete with the Epic Dynasty, which is slated for certification late next year. According to industry sources, Socata CEO, Jean-Michel Léonard has confirmed that though his company is in talks with Epic it has failed to arrive at an agreement at this point of time.
Mallya's Kingfisher is one of the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus's best customers.
Mallya had got involved with the deal to help Epic with FAA certification."It''s a great relationship," Schrameck had said in September last year after Mallya picked up half the stake in the company for about $120 million (Rs480 crore)."Vijay has already brought Airbus into the role of consultants for our certification programmes." (See: Vijay Mallya acquires 50% of US-based Epic Aircraft for $120 million)
This was last year, of course.