LA Times on Southern California's booming UAV industry

There's a long and good profile in the LA Times of the UAV industry in San Diego (General Atomics) and Los Angeles (AeroEnvironment), which now employs an estimated 10,000 people. Read it here.

Views: 566

Comment by Gary Mortimer on September 13, 2010 at 12:38pm
That chap needs a smaller hat

Comment by Sgt Ric on September 13, 2010 at 1:38pm
...reminds me of that terrible movie, Spaceballs!

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on September 13, 2010 at 1:42pm
We love Spaceballs! You need to watch it with kids--feel the power of the Schwartz!

Comment by Sami Finnila on September 13, 2010 at 3:38pm
Hahahaha! All that's missing from the picture is one giant jar of rasberry jam! :D "Sir! Our radar appears to be jammed, sir!"
Comment by Mathew krawczun on September 13, 2010 at 6:23pm
*runs finger over radar screen and tastes it* raspberry.... I Hate raspberry Jam! lol
Comment by Jack Crossfire on September 14, 2010 at 1:34am
The big question is how long can it go on. Silicon Valley was once like this before Russia became the world's space launch service. How long until China can produce the Reaper for a fraction of the cost? All socialist systems eventually run out of money.
Comment by Paul Marsh on September 14, 2010 at 4:11am

Lord Dark Helmet and "Ludicrous speed, NOW!" Gotta love it.
Comment by Shannon Morrisey on September 14, 2010 at 5:23pm
Thanks Chris. Great article. I'm glad I live in the UAV capital of the world. Just hoping they build Skynet central command somewhere else.

RE: JackCrossfire

Yes, Shanzhai practices are not limited to consumer electronics. They've had some success reproducing aircraft for non-US customers - most recently the J-15:

As for US defense spending, I don't anticipate we'll be buying any sophisticated military equipment (aside from basic components) from China anytime soon. There are too many complications with intellectual property/security regulations. Not to mention the defense industry's built in outsourcing safeguard i.e. the good ol' boy network.

excerpt from another article:
"Sneak peaks of Chinese UAV models and displays at the biennial Zhuhai Airshow illustrate a growing interest in UAVs and an obvious effort to copy U.S. designs.

China's copycat tradition goes back to the 1960s. Recovered U.S. AQM-34N Firebee drones lost over China and North Vietnam led to the production of the WZ-5 Chang Hong, which ironically may have seen service during China's 1979 invasion of Vietnam.

Fisher said China's UAV sector is now developing reciprocal and turbine engine-powered UAVs in three configurations: high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE); medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE); and unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV)."


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