Vanilla Aircraft Becomes Vanilla Unmanned – New Owners

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Platform Aerospace, which provides rapid aircraft and drone prototyping, modification, and systems integration, has established a joint venture with an unnamed partner to acquire substantially all the assets of Vanilla Aircraft, which designed and built the VA001 ultra-endurance UAS.

The joint venture, named Vanilla Unmanned, will leverage Platform Aerospace’s prototyping and integration experience and the partner’s experience with aerospace and defense electronics to further develop the record-setting VA001, “creating a disruptive persistent aerial solution for both military and commercial applications,” the new company says.

The VA001 is a Group 3 UAS intended to be payload and mission agnostic, or “vanilla.” It’s capable of flying continuously for up to 10 days, providing persistent surveillance and reconnaissance. It was also the first winner of the AUVSI “Startup Showdown” in New Orleans in 2016, beating out 14 other competitors to take the top prize.

“Vanilla Unmanned is excited to continue innovating our UAS to support current and emerging operational requirements. The combined capabilities of Platform and partner will accelerate integration of best-in-class sensors and payloads and significantly reduce the cost and risk of transition to full-rate production,” says Rear Adm. Timothy Heely (USN-ret), president of Vanilla Unmanned and former AUVSI board member.

David Miller, vice president of the new Vanilla Unmanned, says, “We understand the disruptive potential of this UAS. With land-based and offshore marine traffic growing and manned assets being tasked at ever increasing levels, Vanilla Unmanned will bring a cost effective, persistent capability to our nation’s defense at exactly the right time.”

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