Biography of LeRoy
June 9, 1929 - Aug. 7, 2002
company's motto, Life is Short ... Fly FAST!,
summarizes Roy LoPresti's philosophy about airplane design, and
life in general.
His resume reads like a veritable
"Who's Who" in aviation. Even before graduating from
New York University in 1950, Roy won the Chance Vought Design
Award for best student light airplane design. He then embarked
on a 16-year stint at Grumman Aircraft, culminating with the design
of the Lunar Module used in NASA's Apollo program.
|Roy LoPresti -- More than 50 years as
an aviation enthusiast, pilot, aerospace engineer, corporate
executive, and devoted family man.
His career with Grumman was interrupted
by the Korean War, during which he served as a U.S. Air Force
pilot for six years. After the war he designed advanced fighter
planes at Wright Field for the Air Force. He designed and flew;
the job was "made in heaven."
After Grumman bought American Aviation,
he was responsible for the design of the Cougar and the Tiger.
He later served as President and Chief Engineer of Mooney Aircraft
during the 1970s and 80s, where he designed the phenomenally successful
201, 231, and 301; served as Vice President and Chief Engineer
for Beech Aircraft in the 1980s, where he was technically responsible
for all Beech products. Later, he designed the SwiftFire and SwiftFury
airplanes for Stuart Millar, President of Piper Aircraft.
LoPresti served on the Aeronautical
Advisory Committee to the U.S. Congress during the 1980s. In 1990,
he was awarded the prestigious Godfrey L. Cabot Trophy for outstanding
contributions to the science of aerospace technology by the Aero
Club of New England. Other Cabot Trophy recipients include General
Jimmy Doolittle, Barry Goldwater, Frank Borman, Dick and Burt
Rutan and Chuck Yeager.
Roy and Peggy, his wife of 50 years,
have five grown children: Amy Walsh, Curt, Jim, Roy (Bud), and
David LoPresti. Peggy, David's wife, Anne, and all of the LoPresti
sons are employed in the family business in Vero Beach, Florida.
Amy is an elementary school teacher in Texas.
Roy LoPresti will always be known as
one of the world's most creative and respected designers/modifiers
of commercial, general, and aviation-certified airplanes. His
love for life, flight, speed, quality and efficiency will forever
remain a cornerstone in the LoPresti Speed Merchants' corporate
mission. "Life is Short... Fly FAST!"
For links to more articles about Roy
LoPresti, please go to General
Aviation News Search (click here) and search for text: Roy