Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG 2015

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 17 of 77

18 unmanned systems inside   September/October 2015 AIR TECHNOLOGY AND MARKETS T hough entrepreneurs offering new quad- copters and ultra-lights seem to pop up daily, government filings show that some long-established defense contractors are success- fully transitioning their well-seasoned military aircraft into the crowded commercial market. According to filings with the Federal Avia- tion Administration (FAA) at least 10 companies have requested or received exemptions to oper- ate remotely piloted aircraft, commonly called drones, made by major defense companies in- cluding Lockheed Martin and AeroVironment. As of press time half of those requests have gotten a go-ahead and the pace may now be poised to quicken. The FAA has changed its process in re- cent months and once an aircraft has been vetted and approved for one application it is set to get a fairly swift go-ahead going forward. For defense firms the attraction to the com- mercial market is easy to understand. Military budgets overall are under pressure and commer- by DeeAnn Divis Analysis shows two frms are having particular success in attracting commercial buyers for defense- focused unmanned aircraft. Enhanced photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin cial operators generally have fewer wickets to run through to reach a decision. But there is more to it than simply hedging one's business case, suggested Michael Blades, senior analyst for the aerospace and defense industry at the market research firm Frost & Sullivan. Blade surveyed the global market for un- manned aircraft breaking it down into military, commercial and hobby markets. The sales for mil- itary Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) would reach an estimated $11.6 billion by 2020 accord- ing to his estimate. He gauged the commercial market—which he distinguished as including missions that operate at 500 feet or above and in- volve "long-term, high endurance" niche tasks— as reaching $5.4 billion by 2019 and $6.5 billion by 2020, he told the audience at the Drone Tech conference in Atlanta. Drone Tech was co-located with AUVSI's Unmanned Systems 2015. The hobby market, which Blades described as typified by the popular DJI rotorcraft, would DEFENSE FIRMS fnd commercial

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Inside Unmanned Systems - AUG 2015