The year was 1775.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.. “
Ah, the famous opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities. The Charles Dickens passage seems to create a sense of sweeping possibility: the age is everything and nothing at all. Examined closely, the passage also suggests that this is an age of radical opposites with almost no in-betweens. And that is how I would characterize the current state of the small drones business – radical opposites. On the one hand you have the large public defense-related drone contractors like AeroVironment , maker of the Raven, Puma, and Shrike, looking now to capture commercial opportunities in the civilian market. For our purposes they represent the London royal establishment. On the other hand, you have the small private startups like MarcusUAV and Vorobetz looking for a chance for liberty from restrictive air space regulations. They represent the Paris freedom fighters.
Just as in the novel, each city had its own drama and naiveté, so, too, do our players. While everything’s coming up roses in London, everything’s coming up dead in Paris. In fact, in Paris they are so unhappy that they’re beginning to band together as ‘citizens’ of a new republic. They are at their core a revolutionary group. But we can’t tell that they’re revolutionaries, because they’re super-secret. For the most part, they operate their businesses in an underground – as you will see.