The LoPresti Fury, Roy LoPresti’s last and most-admired design, now has the iPod fully integrated into its systems.
“It would be very nearsighted to think of the iPod as merely an entertainment device,” said RJ Siegel, vice president of operations at Vero Beach, Fla.-based LoPresti Speed Merchants, the airplane’s manufacturer. Rather, it is “a watershed technology for aviation and we are delighted to be the first to bring it to this market.”
The iPod provides “extraordinary” aviation solutions, according to Siegel. First as a digital data recorder with the ability to record some 500 hours of flight time, making it not only the first truly portable, personal flight recorder but one with a huge recording capacity; secondly as an audio recorder, able to capture and replay audio on demand, including cockpit conversation and radio transmissions such as clearances.
As an entertainment device, for which Apple designed it, the iPod replaces a heavy CD player and stacks of disks, with a useful weight saving aboard any airplane, Siegel noted, but particularly aboard a high-performance plane such as the Fury.
Siegel described the iPod as “the complete antithesis of aviation electronics: cheap, easy to replace and available on almost every street corner.”The iPod is “the perfect marriage of a consumer product to the aviation market,” he said, “an ideal product for aviation. It’s light and small, with very low power requirements and a simple interface.
“By introducing such a mainstream device to aviation, we open the door to increased functionality at bargain basement prices. There are thousands of developers passionate about writing applications for the iPod. With such a large body of programmers we have no idea what the next great aviation application may be,” he concluded.
The late Roy LoPresti, whose motto was “Life is short. Fly fast,” designed, engineered and built the Fury, which he thought was the perfect airplane. It combines his love of speed with a sporty, military-like design, somewhat resembling a Globe Swift that has gone to school at LoPresti Speed Merchants. Roy LoPresti’s goal was to build “the best-handling sport airplane ever,” said his son Curt. “It’s pretty sweet.”
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