LoPresti's Fury, Alive In New Mexico

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LoPresti Aviation, based in Vero Beach, Fla., will soon start building a 100,000-square-foot production plant at the Belen airport in central New Mexico, the Albuquerque Journal reported last week. The company, which for years has been in the aviation business as LoPresti Speed Merchants, plans to start production on the LoPresti Fury, a sporty two-seat airplane that cruises at about 175 knots. The airplanes are expected to sell for about $295,000. LoPresti's vice president for operations, Arjay Siegel, told the Journal that Belen, which is about 30 miles from Albuquerque, rated highest among 75 communities in a national search. The company needed a site with a long runway that was located near a major transportation hub and with access to a good labor force. Siegel sent an e-mail to AVweb on Tuesday saying he was in Belen with officials from the state and the site-selection committee. "These guys are great!" he wrote. "This is a long-term civic partnership and they proving to be great partners. I hope to show we are equally great partners!" LoPresti plans to invest about $10 million at the airport and employ more than 300 workers, according to the Journal. The airport will pay to repave the 6,600-foot runway and will spend $3 million to add another north-south runway, hangars and additional infrastructure.