Lightweight & Modular Coaxial Drone for Public Safety, Emergency Response & Disaster Relief

Tactical UAS Solutions Acquired by Leading Rotorcraft Manufacturer

Robinson will obtain expertise in autonomous electric flight technology and modular design philosophy through its acquisition of Ascent AeroSystems, adding compact coaxial helicopter drones to its offerings By William Mackenzie / 23 Apr 2024
Tactical UAS Solutions Acquired by Leading Rotorcraft Manufacturer
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Ascent AeroSystems has been acquired by Robinson Helicopter Company (RHC), a leader in civilian rotorcraft, and is now a now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Robinson Helicopter Company.

Ascent AeroSystems is recognized for its efficient and compact coaxial helicopter drones designed for industrial, public safety, and defense applications. The company produce unique cylindrical, coaxial airframes that offer unparalleled flight performance, payload capacity, and reliability compared to conventional multirotor configurations

Included on the Defense Innovation Unit’s (DIU) Blue UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) Cleared List, Ascent AeroSystems’ flagship Spirit is a compact, modular, rugged, all-weather platform engineered to operate reliably in the most challenging environments, including high wind, heavy rain, sleet, snow, and blowing sand. The larger NX30 offers more than twice the payload capacity in a heavy lift variant, or it can be configured with additional batteries for flights exceeding an hour.

Additionally, Ascent AeroSystems’ expertise in autonomous electric flight technology and modular design philosophy is set to enhance Robinson’s offerings. The integration of emerging technologies and a diverse ecosystem of payloads, power sources, and launch methods will further enhance the company’s mission-focused offerings, including crewed-uncrewed teaming and interoperability across product families.

UAS are increasingly integrated into traditional rotorcraft operations in sectors including defense, public safety, agriculture, energy, utilities, construction, logistics, shipping, and surveying. Ascent AeroSystems will maintain its headquarters near Boston.

Robinson state that Ascent AeroSystems bring a wealth of technological synergies that align with Robinson’s strategic vision for growth and expansion into new markets. Through the acquisition, Ascent can now grow and scale by building its unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at Robinson’s cost-effective, vertically integrated manufacturing facility in Torrance, CA.

Robinson asserts that this acquisition reinforces the company’s dedication to scaling innovation, accelerating new rotorcraft developments, and supporting diverse missions worldwide. By leveraging the expertise and resources of both companies, Robinson reinforces its role in the future of vertical flight systems and utility missions.

David Smith, president and CEO of Robinson Helicopter Company, commented; “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. Ascent’s advanced technologies and versatile designs complement our ability to be the preeminent choice in global rotorcraft.”

Peter Fuchs, Ascent AeroSystems’ CEO, added; “Drones based on consumer-grade electronics will never be able to provide the safety and dispatch reliability needed to support operations at scale.

“They will ultimately require a type certificate for the aircraft, a production certificate for the factory, an operating certificate for the network, and a maintenance certificate for the repair station. That is the standard that has provided the foundation for civil aviation for the last eight decades. 

“It’s a rigorous process, and there are no shortcuts. The laws of physics and aerodynamics favor coaxials, and with Robinson’s fifty years of experience, there is now no better domestic source for reliable, mission-critical UAV platforms.”

Ascent AeroSystems will be exhibiting at AUVSI XPONENTIAL in San Diego, booth #4345, April 23-25. 

To learn more, contact Ascent AeroSystems: Visit Website Send Message View Supplier Profile
Posted by William Mackenzie Connect & Contact