Florida Tech Alumnus Donates Prize-Winning Unmanned Aircraft

Florida Tech graduate Henry B. Castellanos ’00 has donated an unmanned aircraft designed meticulously to replicate a United Airlines Boeing Dreamliner (Boeing B787-8). The project, which cost over $70,000 to complete over a span of more than three years, won three of the top prizes at the Top Gun Invitational in Fall 2020.

“When the Smithsonian Institution reached out to invite me to donate the plane, I thought it would be better to give this to Florida Tech, my school,” said Castellanos.

The plane now hangs in the lobby of the College of Aeronautics’ George M. Skurla Hall on Florida Tech’s Melbourne campus, where it may serve to inspire the aviation students who study there. Ivey’s Construction generously donated their time and efforts to install the plane.

Castellanos has had a very successful career as a VVIP corporate pilot and businessman. He founded NextGen Aviation and MAC Group Investments, which sell corporate jets to heads of state, private individuals and asset management groups. Now semi-retired, he enjoys developing unmanned aircraft and has worked with universities implementing academic programs involving unmanned aerial vehicles.

Henry Castellanos (right) stands with Fin Bonset ’96, ’99 MSA, distinguished Airport Development & Management alum, in front of the donated aircraft.
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