Luminati Aerospace

Debrief: Happy landings with Daniel Preston

With the fate of Riverhead Town’s Enterprise Park at Calverton still very much in the air, Daniel Preston would like to throttle things back a bit. Half-truths and wild speculation have been part of the EPCAL story since Grumman pulled out a quarter-century ago, and CEO Preston’s Luminati Aerospace LLC, which is looking to purchase the storied property for $40 million and revive Long Island’s dormant aerospace industry, has not been spared: It’s already parted…


Aerospace is swell and all, but this is about land

By GREGORY ZELLER // Make no mistake: For Greek-American billionaire John Catsimatidis, this is a land deal, pure and simple. The owner of Gristedes Foods, the largest grocery chain in Manhattan, can issue press statements noting his “deep roots and interest in aviation,” as he did after word spread that United Refining Energy Corp. – one of several companies under the umbrella of Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group – would back Luminati Aerospace LLC’s efforts to…


Plant 6 reopened, Luminati says it’s ready for takeoff

Long Island is taxiing back toward the forefront of aerospace manufacturing. One year after a ballyhooed test flight of its solar-powered VO Substrata solar-powered aircraft, Luminati Aerospace LLC held a grand reopening of sorts Friday, cutting the ribbon on Plant 6 at its Enterprise Park at Calverton facility – once a thriving manufacturing hub for Grumman Aerospace Corp. The ceremony included former NASA astronaut Terry Virts, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean…


Luminati in deal to buy giant former Grumman site

Luminati Aerospace has signed a letter of intent to acquire the Town of Riverhead’s 2,300-acre Enterprise Park at Calverton for about $40 million. The deal includes about 600 acres of developable property, buildings and two runways at the site, a former Grumman test facility for the F-14. Luminati, which is developing solar-powered aircraft and other next-gen avionics, bought a former sky jumping school at the park last year. It plans to expand its own operations and…


A small ship, and the sun to steer her by

By GREGORY ZELLER // Soaring high above the South Shore and numerous New York City landmarks, the V0 Substrata this weekend made its most ambitious, most adventurous series of flights – a flashy shakedown cruise that also generated critical data for Luminati Aerospace. Just one week after the 27-horsepower “motorglider,” the first plane developed and manufactured on Long Island since the Grumman Aerospace Corp. pulled out 22 years ago, made its public debut with a…


Sky King, and his World of Tomorrow

By GREGORY ZELLER // A gallery of high-ranking observers watched Dan Preston’s dreams take flight Friday – and along with them, a potential rebirth of a once-great Long Island industry. In a sun-splashed coming-out party attended by an impressive gallery of regional rainmakers, Preston’s Luminati Aerospace officially debuted the V0 Substrata, a light solar-electric craft that can be piloted or fly autonomously and represents a soaring climb toward Luminati’s perpetual-flight objectives. The big picture: Unmanned…


Luminati to debut made-on-LI solar plane

The first aircraft to be designed and built in Calverton since Grumman Aerospace Corp. went wheels-up more than 22 years ago is scheduled to make its public debut Friday. The V0 Substrata – a piloted, single-seat electric “motorglider” – is expected to perform flight demonstrations after an official unveiling at Luminati Aerospace’s headquarters, the former Grumman Naval Base test facility in Calverton. In 2015, Luminati Aerospace moved in and announced a $50 million investment to…


Meet the Luminati Aerospace R&D team

Luminati Aerospace shed light on its top management this week, trotting out the startup’s top design and science officers before the Riverhead town board and local residents. The firm, which has proposed building communication drones for a major – but so far unnamed – technology client, is negotiating an agreement to manage the largest runway at the former Grumman test facility at Calverton. The company said it plans to invest an initial $50 million at…


Daniel Preston, the thrust behind Luminati Aerospace

By GREGORY ZELLER // Daniel Preston, CEO of Luminati Aerospace, the Brooklyn startup with plans to build communication drones at Calverton, seems comfortable punching the throttle. Incorporated in Delaware in April and registered as a New York LLC in July, Luminati  is ready to fly. Company officials, including Preston, are already relocating to Riverhead, and the firm is pushing for speedy approvals of its plans, which include expanding a former skydiving school at Calverton and taking over…