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Luminati Aerospace wants internet drones that never land

Solar Impulse 2 isn't the only Sun-powered aircraft reaching a milestone this week. Luminati Aerospace has conducted a public test flight of its prototype solar aircraft, the VO-Substrata, that represents a stepping stone toward drones that supply internet access. While this early design has a pilot, Luminati eventually wants to make pilotless vehicles that fly as high as 60,000 feet and never need to land. If all goes well, manufacturing starts soon as the end of 2016.

Luminati Aerospace LLC is an aerospace technology company focusing on research, development, testing, and manufacturing of next generation solar-electric unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, at its facility located at the historic Calverton EPCAL airbase in Riverhead, New York. 

Luminati has assembled a "dream team” of engineers and university professors to work on its initial project.  After the initial project is concluded, Luminati plans to establish itself as a major force in the global aerospace industry, focusing on cutting-edge, high-technology aerospace manufacturing.

Luminati is far from the only company diving into internet drones -- just ask Facebook. However, its effort is bound to raise a few eyebrows. It has the help of multiple public and private organizations (including Georgia Tech and MIT), and there's reportedly a mysterious tech company helping out behind the scenes. Provided Luminati fulfills its ambitions, it could play a significant role in getting people online in corners of the world where reliable internet access is rare.

Source: AP (Phys.org), Luminati Aerospace

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