Roy LoPresti


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Biography of LeRoy LoPresti

June 9, 1929 - Aug. 7, 2002

His 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 LoPresti.

Roy LoPresti's Obituary

Speed Merchants
877-565-1731 / 772-562-4757 or fax 772-563-0446
2620 Airport North Drive, Vero Beach, Florida, 32960

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