BERNHARD C.F. KLEIN COLLECTION
No. 5123. LoPresti LP-1 Swiftfury (N207LP cn 246)
12/31/2016. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk
: "LoPresti-Piper Aircraft Engineering Co, a Piper subsidiary formed at Vero Beach, Florida in December 1987, developed an interest in possible production of an updated version of the Globe Swift
. Under LeRoy 'Roy' P. LoPresti two Swifts were modified to become the SwiftFury and turboprop SwiftFire prototypes. The first aircraft featured a more powerful engine and many airframe and engineering refinements. This aircraft was later known as the LoPresti Fury. The second aircraft, named Swiftfire, had a turboprop engine.
The LP-1 SwiftFury had the original 125 hp Continental piston engine replaced by a 200 hp Textron Lycoming IO-360. Aerodynamic improvements included replacement of the Swift's corrugated sheet metal wing skins with smooth skins, elimination of wing slots, installation of wingroot fairings, use of flush rivets and butt joints on panels throughout the airframe, fully-enclosed main landing gear, retractable tailwheel, and a more streamlined sliding bubble canopy, resulting in a claimed 37 per cent reduction in drag.
Other changes included use of independent pushrods instead of cables to operate control surfaces, addition of speedbrakes, control sticks instead of control wheels, a dual braking system, a curved instrument panel to eliminate viewing parallax, and incorporation of "Hands On Throttle and Stick
" (HOTAS) technology, with throttle-mounted switches for operation of speedbrakes, trailing-edge flaps, cowl flaps, landing, recognition and exterior lights, and control stick switches for electric pitch trim, autopilot override, transponder ident, push-to-talk and checklist display scrolling.
The prototype SwiftFury N207LP
, modified from a 1946 model Globe Swift, made its first flight on March 23, 1989, and was displayed at the Experimental Aircraft Association's Sun 'n Fun Fly-ins in April 1989 and April 1990.
Piper's increasing cash flow problems in the second half of 1990 resulted in the closure of the LoPresti-Piper Aircraft Engineering Co in December, by that time 550 reservations for the SwiftFury had been reported, however the project was halted. Roy LoPresti inherited all rights to the SwiftFury in 1999 on Piper's bankruptcy but died before further development could take place.
The prototype SwiftFury, now named just Fury, is registered to Roy LoPresti's son Curt LoPresti as N217LP
. To circumnavigate lengthy certification procedures the aircraft is listed on the FAA register as a Globe GC-1B and as such it received a CofA in the Experimental Class on March 1, 2000."