Solar-power plane tested on Long Island

- A new solar electric-powered aircraft is said to be part of the revitalization of the aviation industry on Long Island. It's also what could be a major breakthrough in communication throughout the world.

"The goal here is perpetual flight," said Daniel Preston, the CEO of Luminati Aerospace in Calverton. "The purpose for it is to provide a platform to provide Internet connectivity the 4 billion people in the world who don't have access to information.

Preston unveiled the new V0-Substrata. It's only half the size as the aircraft the company plans on building. Solar panels cover its wings. It could be flown manned or unmanned. It's the first aircraft to come off the assembly line at the former Grumman test facility in over two decades.

Chief Pilot Robert Lutz said it's a quiet, smooth ride.

"Unlike a plug-in that has to be plugged in, this doesn't have to do any of that," Lutz said. "Out here in the beautiful sunlight and I'm getting a charge."

Preston added: "It's going to represent a rebirth of aviation manufacturing here which will be a significant boost to local economy and job creation."

The plan is to hire some 800 people within the next 2 to 3 years.

Luminati's goal is to partner with a yet-to-be-named tech giant to deliver wireless Internet service to areas of the globe inaccessible to date. There has been much speculation on who that company is. Preston said he cannot reveal the company because of a secrecy clause.

Luminati plans on having a full assembly line in operation by the end of October with a second aircraft completed before 2017. The company hopes to start delivering orders to India before next summer to provide a communication platform.

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