Whelen Engineering, a U.S. company well known as a manufacturer of aircraft navigation lights, has acquired LoPresti Aviation, another U.S. company that is best known for their speed mods, especially for Mooneys and Pipers.

LoPresti was the first to use high-intensity discharge (HID) technology to develop landing and taxi lights as accessories to go with their speed mods. Their HID market eventually expanded into the corporate jet sector. As LED technology became cheaper, LoPresti also began developing lights using the newer technology.

LoPresti’s speed mod business is included in the deal with Whelen.

The new company is now known as Whelen Aerospace Technologies or WAT, but the LoPresti brand will remain.

In addition to speed mods and aircraft lighting products, Whelen manufactures lighting products for the automotive sector as well as ‘mass notification systems’, or sirens that are typically used at schools when a lock-down is underway, or as tsunami warning devices.

“WAT enables both companies to combine resources and deliver distinct technologies to the market,” says Whelen president and CEO George Whelen.

“Through WAT, we will strengthen our portfolio in aircraft lighting applications and composite structures. This acquisition will be highly beneficial to OEMs, as well as to the end user,” said Tyler Wheeler, LoPresti Aviation CEO. “Maintaining the highest level of customer service is the highest priority for us as we continue growing as one.” Tyler will join Whelen Aerospace Technologies as CEO.

LoPresti, which was founded in 1991, will continue operating at its Sebastian, Florida location. Whelen Aerospace Technologies will be headquartered in Chester, Connecticut, where Whelen was founded in 1952.