China Aviation and the LT Builders Group together will pay $4.3 million for Epic’s assets. The builders will retain the rights to sell the LT single-engine turboprops in the North American market, while the Chinese have rights to the rest of the world.
Douglas King, a member of the LT Builders Group, said they plan to reopen the Epic facility in Bend, Ore., and continue with kit production and builder assistance. "We intend to run it honest and straight, according to the law, be good neighbors here in Bend," King told Kitplanes editor Marc Cook. "We’re going to do what we say … and not over-promise. We are going to work really hard at producing high-quality airplanes."
To understand this if you are not from the US, there is a thriving market for people who build, or partly build their own aircraft. And they go all the way up to turbo-jets. They cannot be used to carry paying passengers, but it is quite a large market and Epic, until it got into financial strife, was a big player.
Note that the bankruptcy court still must give final approval to the deal. Then the builders must start negotiations with the lease-holder of the hangar where all of their unfinished aircraft remain under lock and key, to resolve issues of unpaid rent and get the operation going again.
AVWeb reports it now looks as though it will happen. Builders will be able to finish their planes, which are their life-long fanatical hobby, and China will get an immense about of expertise in building light but powerful aircraft. Not on a self-build basis perhaps but as a proper aircraft factory.