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AeroVironment Buys Unmanned Helicopter Company

AeroVironment Inc. has acquired Pulse Aerospace LLC, a maker of unmanned helicopters in a deal valued at $25.7 million. The Simi Valley developer and manufacturer of small drone aircraft will expand its offerings to customers with Pulse, in Lawrence, Kan. AeroVironment Chief Executive Wahid Nawabi said the deal brings together two complementary companies in terms of products, markets and culture. “The talented Pulse Aerospace team has created a solution set that is unique and will expand our family of unmanned systems by addressing increasing demand from our customers for small (vertical takeoff and landing) solutions,” Nawabi said in a statement. Pulse develops and manufactures three models of its Vapor unmanned helicopter for defense, commercial and research applications. The aircraft can fly up to one hour on a single battery charge. “Pulse’s offering expands AeroVironment’s mission capabilities with increased payload capacity, which broadens customer use cases,” Pulse Chief Executive Aaron Lessig said in a statement. The Kansas facility will become the AeroVironment Innovation Center – Midwest, with a focus on small unmanned helicopters and mission planning products. Shares in AeroVironment (AVAV) closed Tuesday down 45 cents, or less than a percent, to $62.98 on the Nasdaq.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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