Robinson Helicopter Acquires UAV Maker Ascent AeroSystems

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Robinson Helicopter Acquires UAV Maker Ascent AeroSystems

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Ascent’s production will now migrate across the country to Robinson’s California factory

Robinson Helicopter has purchased Massachusetts-based UAV manufacturer Ascent AeroSystems. Now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the California rotorcraft manufacturer, Ascent is recognized for its compact helicopter drones, designed for a variety of industrial, public safety, and defense applications.

Through its expertise in autonomous electric flight technology and modular design, it is expected to enhance Robinson’s products. Ascent will now move its production facilities to Robinson’s vertically integrated 600,000-sq-ft manufacturing facility at Zamperini Field Airport (KTOA) in Torrance, where it will have room to grow and scale.

“This strategic acquisition is in line with our vision to broaden our offerings and meet increasing global demand for enhanced mission capabilities in law enforcement, public safety, firefighting, utility, and defense,” said Robinson president and CEO David Smith. “Ascent’s advanced technologies and versatile designs complement our ability to be the preeminent choice in global rotorcraft.”

Ascent’s UAVs feature cylindrical bodies with coaxial rather than symmetrically distributed rotors and are designed to operate in the most challenging conditions including high wind, heavy rain, sleet, snow, and even blowing sand.

“Drones based on consumer-grade electronics will never be able to provide the safety and dispatch reliability needed to support operations at scale,” explained Ascent CEO Peter Fuchs. “The laws of physics and aerodynamics favor coaxials, and with Robinson’s 50 years of experience, there is now no better domestic source for reliable, mission-critical UAV platforms.”

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