Ascent AeroSystems is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Robinson Helicopter Company.

Ascent AeroSystems is a specialist in compact coaxial helicopter drones designed for industrial, public safety and defence applications. Through the acquisition, Ascent can now build its UAVs at Robinson’s vertically integrated manufacturing facility in Torrance, California. Ascent will also maintain its headquarters near Boston.

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

Ascent’s cylindrical, coaxial airframes stand out from competitors in each weight class, offering unparalleled flight performance, payload capacity and reliability compared with conventional multirotor configurations, claim developers.

Included on the Defense Innovation Unit’s (DIU) Blue UAS Cleared List, Ascent’s flagship Spirit is a compact, modular, rugged, all-weather platform engineered to operate reliably in the most challenging environments, including high wind, snow and blowing sand.

A larger variant, known as 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.

Peter Fuchs, CEO, Ascent AeroSystems said: “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 favour coaxials, and with Robinson’s 50 years of experience, there is now no better domestic source for reliable, mission-critical UAV platforms.”

This article was first published by our sister title Revolution.Aero.