Luminati Aerospace LLC
Little Falls, New York, USA
Luminati Aerospace was founded in 2015 by Daniel Preston due to his strong interest in helicopters and drones. Preston’s career includes being a helicopter pilot, owning his own company Atair Aerospace, making unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and high-altitude, solar-powered long endurance drones. The XTRON is a one passenger coaxial all-electric demonstrator helicopter.
The company has stated their dream team consists of award winning university professors from MIT, UIUC, and Georgia Tech, leading industry professionals, and visionary technological advisors.
Preston’s interest in the combination of the safety feature of autorotation in a helicopter and electric aircraft eventually motivated him to purchase the intellectual property rights of the Gyrodyne Company of America. Luminati obtained 40 years of Gyrodyne documents and technical information.
Some background: The Gyrodyne Company of America developed a remote controlled uncrewed helicopter in the late 1950s. They sold hundreds of these to the US military with production taking place between 1962 and 1969. For your reference, the U.S. Navy Gyrodyne QH-50 DASH helicopter fuselage is approximately 10 feet high (3 meters) by 13 feet long (4 meters), of coaxial design with examples including piston and turbine engines.
The company describes the XRON technology demonstrator as stellar, compared to the original Gyrodyne drone and has the goal to break the record for electric helicopter flight duration. During the 2019 Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture (USA), the company displayed the XRON demonstrator with its electric motor and battery pack.
The Luminati Aerospace has been doing ground runs with the XRON demonstrator since December 2019 (inside a hangar at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York), to log data, validate the new components, and to verify the performance of the battery management system.
- Aircraft type: Electric helicopter
- Capacity: 1 passenger
- Flight durance: 45 minutes (estimated)
- Motor: 22 hp/lb [36.2 kW/kg]
- Power source: Battery
- Landing gear: Wheeled tricycle fixed landing gear
- Safety features: Autorotation ability and electric motor
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- Article: Luminati Aerospace CEO says he’s moving his company upstate, Riverhead Local, Apr. 23, 2019
- Article: Oshkosh e-AirVenture, Vertiflite, Sep/Oct 2019
- Article: Luminati Aerospace – First electric helicopter engine test, My Little Falls, Nov. 19, 2019
- Article: Luminati Creates Vertically Integrated VTOL Development Business, eVTOL News, Jan. 4, 2020