The tales of aircraft startups often come to grief, but I know of only one whose journey includes trips through bankruptcy court, confrontation, appeals from Chinese and Russian suitors, charges of fraud, jail time and, possibly soon, success. Such is the story of the presciently named Epic Aircraft. The saga began with a most unusual premise: that people would pay $1 million to build their own pressurized, high-performance, single turboprop-powered aircraft. At the time—2004 ...

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