Long Island manufacturers took aviation from a dangerous sport to a viable means of transportation and vital component of national defense. Know as the “cradle of aviation”, Long Island was home to approximately two dozen companies from 1919-1939 who comprised the largest cluster of military and civilian aviation manufacturing in America. During World War II, there were over 100,000 people employed in the sector.

While large manufacturers like Grumman Aircraft, Republic Aerospace and Sperry Gyroscope have disappeared or downsized, the sector remained strong in the region by transforming to a larger network of small to mid-sized specialized companies.

Long Island is currently home to one of the largest aerospace and defense clusters in the world with over 250 companies employing 24,000.