Once I got into X-Plane 11 it was only a matter of time before I got into a payware module and after considerable research and a very good experience with the free Aerobask DR401 I decided to get a high performance turboprop to continue my X-Plane 11 world tour. After a couple of flights I felt like I had to write about this because it was such a cool experience.
What is an Epic E1000?
There’s a small yet defined market in the general aviation category for high performance single engine turboprop aircraft. In car terms these are a kind of luxury highway cruiser which pretensions of some sporting ability. Think a high end BMW or Audi and you’re probably on the right track. The two other aircraft in the category that come to mind are the SOCATA TBM and the Pilatus PC12.
The Epic E1000 started out as a kit plane that could be built as an experimental. It is currently going for type certification.
The aircraft boasts some impressive performance numbers that, coming from some of IL-2’s prop driven WWII aircraft, are absolutely unreal. Climb at 4,000 ft/min fully loaded is no problem. Ceiling is 34,000 feet and the range is 1,650 nautical miles. Power comes from a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67A turboprop generating 1,200-hp that helps push the aircraft along to a lofty cruise speed of 325 KTAS. It also seats 6 adults (which can be simulated).
If the Aerobask version, with its flight model programming done by X-Aerodynamics and verified by an Epic 1000 owner, is anything like the real one it has fairly sporty handling too.
Why this aircraft?
- Recently upgraded in 2019 from an earlier edition of the aircraft also released by Aerobask, the G1000 version was completely rebuilt for X-Plane 11 with all of the PBR and 4K textures you’d expect.
- It’s fast and cruises at speeds and altitudes like a jet but it can still land on short runways. It also has a thrust reverser (called “beta mode” on the throttle).
- It’s an idea aircraft to have fun with in X-Plane 11 and fly some significant distances quickly but also not need to feel like you’re lugging around a big airliner (no offense to the people who love to do that kind of flying).
- It’s also an excellent aircraft to further refine my knowledge of GA operations while having the G1000 avionics which I am slowly becoming very familiar with.
- I really wanted to send my thanks to Aerobask for their superb free DR401 aircraft. I’m still going to fly that type from time to time as well!
Next stops on the X-Plane world tour
Last time I left off I had landed the DR401 at Kamloops International Airport. The next leg was going to take me through more mountain passes in what looks to be worsening weather on the west coast so it was time to take to the Epic 1000 and climb above the weather.
I set course from Kamloops to Banff airport and flew up to 30,000 feet in the new aircraft. Something that happened quickly. We were blasting along at a great speed and covering ground far more quickly than I had expected.
One of the coolest features is the integration between the E1000 G1000 series and the AviTab plugin which gives you tablet like functionality in the cockpit. I used AviTab plus the 3D representation of it (a 2D pop-up is available for all aircraft) to browse operating features of the aircraft while enroute and while parked. You can even bring up the checklist which is superb!
I’m not experienced yet with ILS landings so I used the GPS to drop me into the valley around Banff that I’m already familiar with. What I wasn’t familiar with was the size of the Banff aiport – it’s just a grass field next to the Trans Canada highway. Not feeling confident enough to land the new type at that field I decided to press on to Calgary’s large international airport.
Climbing back above the clouds I exited the Rocky Mountains and flew the rest of the route to Calgary in near overcast though some breaks in the clouds reminded me that we were still in the mountains. This is great feature bringing NEXRAD radar and satellite information into the sim for real world conditions.
Descending through the clouds I land under a low but broken cloud base at Calgary and taxied to the GA parking area. Fantastic work has been done on this airport by the X-Plane airports team and it was great to see all of the buildings where they should be.
Next, I’m flying across the Prairies to Saskatoon, Winnipeg and we’ll see where to next. This tour is one of those things if I see somewhere I want to fly to – I’ll fly it. That’s the fun of an open world experience and this is superb fun! Having an aircraft that can kind of do it all makes this even more fun. I look forward to covering more ground with the Epic E1000 by Aerobask.
A good first impressions piece is not complete without some screenshots and here are some of mine from the Epic E1000.