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Oct 02, 2013, 05:37 AM
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AeroVironment (AVAV) Cuts Jobs in UAS Segment

AeroVironment (AVAV) Cuts Jobs in UAS Segment

Another one bites the dust. With $685,000 in severance packages, it's probably a large section of the company. Once, Aerovironment & Lockheed competed in a micro UAV competition.

AeroVironment/DARPA Nano Hummingbird UAV flying (1 min 45 sec)

Aero created a miniature ornithopter, a mechanical marvel, & won the contest.

Lockheed Martin 30cm-span Samarai 'maple seed' UAV (1 min 38 sec)

Lockheed created a miniature monocopter & lost, but now is the one still around.

The business of turning RC copters into drones has now been around long enough to weed out the masses of experimenters & leave just the business models that go straight down the middle of what works. When electric flight went manestream in 2006, the government was putting loads of money in technology & welfare. There were lots of drone startups living on $100,000 government contracts & lots of homeowers getting paid to not sell their houses.

Now, the technology investment has ended & government is just funding welfare. If they weren't bought out, the 1st drone startups went out of business. There's a new generation of drone startups, but now they're hobby projects not making any money.

Aerovironment & many others couldn't make the switch from government contracts to the much less lucrative farming & hobby pilots. All the money is now concentrated in just 3D Robotics.

As it has in the past when a new technology matures, the distribution of wealth has gone from the many making $100,000 at a time to the few making $30 million at a time.
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Oct 02, 2013, 06:19 AM
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Lockheed created a miniature monocopter & lost, but now is the one still around.
Yeah... I'm sure almost a century of military aircraft research and development has NOTHING to do with why they are still around.
Oct 02, 2013, 04:06 PM
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For the bean counters in the group, 47 employees we're let go this time.

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