February 6, 2013
By Jim Moore
J.W. "Corkey" Fornof, seen here in a LoPresti Fury preparing for a 2012 exhibition at the Great Tennessee Airshow, is looking for a new opportunity for 2013.
LoPresti Aviation has put development of its two-seat Fury on hold for 2013 while the company’s new management shifts focus toward lights designed for the business jet market and speed mods for a broad range of general aviation aircraft.
Marketing Director David LoPresti said the Fury will be modified in the months to come to showcase the company’s boom beam lights, replacement fixtures designed for light aircraft and bizjets, and the company hopes to return the Fury to the airshow circuit in 2014—decked out with 10 landing lights (six facing forward, the rest lighting up the underside at various angles) to dazzle in night shows.
“That’s where our business is right now, the landing and taxi light arena,” LoPresti said.
J.W. "Corkey" Fornof, makes a low pass past the crowd at the Great Tennessee Airshow in 2012.
Under new CEO Tyler Wheeler, the company is closing in on a supplemental type certificate for a new cowling designed for Cessna Cardinals that is expected to boost speed by 13 mph, adding to a long list of speed modifications available for a range of GA aircraft. The Fury, designed by Roy LoPresti and originally called the “Swift,” may yet see the market, though plans to produce a kit are on hold. LoPresti said the company plans to produce a handful of aircraft for exhibition use, and reassess the practicality of producing kits based on market response.
With the Fury now in a holding pattern of sorts, the company opted not to continue touring the airshow circuit this year—and that leaves one very experienced pilot looking for work. J.W. “Corkey” Fornof, a veteran pilot and aerial coordinator of 46 feature films (including four James Bond movies) and many television commercials, said he has several creative concepts in mind for an airframe maker ready to capitalize on airshow exposure—some of which involve combined marketing with a sports car maker. Fornof said it would be no trouble to make low passes in formation with a sports car, keeping the wingtip close enough to reach out and touch, for example.
“I’ve got all these contacts and experience and want to put it someplace where it will do the most good,” Fornof said.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
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