It’s been called a Ferrari with wings.
Designed by aviation legend Roy LoPresti, the Fury is all about fun.
It is also the final work of the aviation legend who is credited with designing successful planes for Mooney, Grumman, Beech and Piper.
In fact, he originally designed the Fury for Piper, but when that company went bankrupt in 1991, LoPresti acquired the rights and continued developing the design himself.
“The Fury has been in constant development since then,” said Curt LoPresti, who took over as CEO of the company after his father’s untimely death in 2002.
But now the design is ready to enter the certification phase. The company recently moved into its new facilities at Sebastian Municipal Airport (X26) in Florida, where work has begun on the construction of three conforming models for FAA certification.
The two-place Fury incorporates the classic lines of a World War II fighter with the latest in technology, including an iPod entertainment system that also records all engine parameters. Mounted on the wing is a camera, originally thought of as only a taxi aid, but company officials soon found that it is also useful in flight, especially in climb and descent. “It cuts the haze,” LoPresti said.
Powered by a Lycoming IO-390 — an upgrade from the original 360 — the Fury promises a cruise speed of 215 mph, a rate of climb of 1,400 fpm and a range of 1,000 nm.
The panel will have the traditional six-pack on the right side, with glass on the left. “We’ve listened to our market and the guys interested in the Fury want round gauges,” LoPresti said.
LoPresti market research shows that the “guys” interested in the Fury are pilots who want to use the plane for business, as well as for fun.
All pilots who buy a Fury will be required to attend the new “Top Gun Adventure,” a week-long training program in Florida.
“One of the things Roy wanted — besides a great airplane — was for people to know how to have fun safely,” said Rj Siegel, chief operating officer.
The program is set up “just like a fighter pilot being checked out in a new fighter,” he explained, noting one day will be spent going over systems, while other days will be devoted to aerobatics and formation flying. The final phase of the training will include basic air combat maneuvers, followed by a “fly off,” which is a competition among Fury owners who will “go up and ‘fight’ each other,” he said. “The last man standing is the ‘Top Gun.’”
The fun of Top Gun isn’t just for Fury owners, however. The program, priced at $3,500, is open to all pilots, Siegel noted.
“Fun is a key element in aviation,” added Earle Boyter of Premier Aircraft Sales, who said the Fury “behaves like a lady but, if you want her to, acts like a tramp.”
With a price of $355,000, the first year of production has already been sold out, according to Siegel.
“Roy loved Ferraris, which have a limited production,” he said. “As an homage to that, we will limit Fury production to 60 airplanes a year.”
For more information: LoPrestiFury.com.