Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant, Calverton

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Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant, Calverton
Part of United States Navy
Riverhead, New York
Coordinates 40°54′45″N 72°47′44″W / 40.91250°N 72.79556°W / 40.91250; -72.79556Coordinates: 40°54′45″N 72°47′44″W / 40.91250°N 72.79556°W / 40.91250; -72.79556
Type Aircraft Manufacturing Plant
Site information
Controlled by Navy
Open to
the public
Site history
In use 1956–1996
Calverton Executive Airpark
Calverton Airfield NAN4-80.jpg
Calverton in 1979–1980
Airport type Public-owned, Private-use
Owner Town of Riverhead
Location Calverton, New York
Elevation AMSL 75 ft / 23 m
Coordinates 40°54′54″N 072°47′31″W / 40.91500°N 72.79194°W / 40.91500; -72.79194
Direction Length Surface
ft m
14/32 10,000 3,048 Asphalt/Concrete
5/23 7,000 2,133 Asphalt/Concrete

Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant, Calverton (NWIRP) was a government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) facility which had the mission of designing, fabricating, and testing prototype aircraft from 1956 until 1996, in Riverhead, New York.


Line of production of the F-14A Tomcat in 1986.

About 1950, the United States Navy purchased about 6,000 acres (2,400 ha) on the Peconic River by New York Route 25 for the facility. Among the properties purchased was a mansion belonging to the grandson of F.W. Woolworth.

The Navy was to build among other things a 10,000-foot (3,000 m) runway. It is labeled on topographic maps as Grumman Peconic River Airport[3] with an FAA code of CTO.

The unit is most associated with test, assembly and retrofitting the A-6 Intruder, E-2 Hawkeye, EA-6B Prowler and F-14 Tomcat.[4] Older U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps aircraft such as the F9F Panther, F-9 Cougar, and F-11 Tiger were also tested at the facility.

The Grumman site consisted of "Plant Six", where final assembly of F-14s, A-6s, EA-6Bs, and E-2Cs took place, and "Plant Seven", Flight Test.

During the Space Race, Grumman built a mock up of the lunar surface to test its proposed Lunar Roving Vehicle. Many of the lunar astronauts were said to have visited the plant then.

In 1965, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller proposed converting the airport into the fourth New York City metropolitan airport joining Laguardia Airport, John F. Kennedy Airport and Newark Airport. The proposal was abandoned following opposition from both Grumman and local residents.

In 1974, when the two other National Cemeteries on Long Island (Cypress Hills National Cemetery and Long Island National Cemetery) were running out of space, the Navy was approached about donating its undeveloped land north of Route 25 for a cemetery. On December 7, 1977, a 902 acres (365 ha) tract was donated to form Calverton National Cemetery. More land would be donated by the Navy in 2000 bringing the total to 1,045 acres (423 ha) making it the largest national cemetery in the United States (and also the busiest).

Grumman merged with Northrop Corporation in 1994, forming Northrop Grumman Corporation and the new firm eliminated almost all operations on Long Island. Grumman vacated the site on February 14, 1996.[5] The airport has since been developed into Calverton Executive Airpark.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Airport information for Calverton Executive Airpark (IATA:CTO, FAA:3C8) at Great Circle Mapper.
  2. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for 3C8 (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2007-10-25
  3. ^ map. Retrieved 2007-11-09.
  4. ^ Grumman Memorial Park
  5. ^ Shaman, Diana (February 25, 1996). "Planners Ponder 2,900-Acre Northrop Grumman Site". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-02.