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Boeing Insitu founders raise cash for Aerovel, which makes drones that take off and land vertically

2 Mar 2021, 16:00 UTC
Boeing Insitu founders raise cash for Aerovel, which makes drones that take off and land vertically
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(Aerovel Photos)
An aerospace venture started by the founders of Boeing’s Insitu business unit just raised fresh cash as the company ramps up development of its unmanned aircraft.
Aerovel raised $2.4 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We’ve reached out to the company for more details about the new funding.
Aerovel was started in 2006 by Tad McGeer and Andy von Flotow, who were the founders of Insitu, an unmanned aerial system developer. Aerovel’s plant is about 500 meters, as the drone flies, from Boeing’s Insitu plant in the Columbia River Gorge town of Bingen, Wash.
With McGeer as CEO and von Flotow as chairman, the two Stanford classmates built Insitu into a $20 million-a-year business before leaving in 2005. (Boeing would later buy Insitu for a reported $400 million.)
Today, Aerovel is developing a new drone it calls the Flexrotor, which is designed to take off and land vertically, like a helicopter, then transition into horizontal flight using wings for lift, like an airplane. Aerovel says the Flexrotor can stay aloft for up to 32 hours — a record for drones in its class — providing overhead surveillance for military, law enforcement or other ...

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