Sean Walter

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…


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…


Secretive drone firm to invest $50M+ at Calverton

By JOHN L. KOMINICKI // Calverton’s enterprise zone is near a deal with a Brooklyn aeronautical startup that plans to build giant, solar-powered aircraft that would fly high above commercial jet traffic and beam laser-powered communication signals to earth. The firm, Luminati Aerospace, has acquired the land and buildings of a skydiving school at the former Grumman test site and is set to invest $50 million and employ 40 to 50 people, according to Riverhead Supervisor…