As this crazy year comes to a close, it is time for a bit of reflection. To begin, drones have been unbelievably useful during 2020. Whether transporting goods to essential workers throughout COVID, helping scan large areas during the devastating wildfires, or simply used for leisure, drones have been a great help. We have compiled a list of the top US drone manufacturers of 2020.
Of course, there are a lot of aspects to consider in finding the right drone for you. In order to make a decision, you need to think of functionality, purpose, price, and more. There are so many great products and manufacturers in the US drone market it can be overwhelming. Although we could list hundreds of great products from different companies, here are just a few of the top US drone manufacturers.
Autonomous, rugged, and AMERICAN….Engineered and built for a purpose in GPS denied environments. Every Aertos 130IR commercial drone and controller is made in Lenexa Kansas, United States. The Aertos 130IR and Aertos 120 US drones wrap the latest advanced AI technology in a rugged frame ready for confined spaces: it’s a tool made for the harshest places and toughest jobs. It is one of the best drones for use in confined spaces, and is the most stable indoor drone in the world. If you have boilers, stacks, tunnels, bridges,
Skydio is located in Redwood City, CA and builds a follow-me, camera drone that claims to be crash proof. Their latest product, the Skydio 2, first went on sale in 2019 and costs $999. Due to coronavirus, production was halted because of California rules and sales were paused. Production resumed in June 2020 and is now back on the market.
Furthermore, 1Up Drones has tested this drone and the AI capabilities are incredible. Pay close attention to this company as new developments are coming for SkydioX2 in the new year.
Saxon Aerospace is a leader in Unmanned System Technology located in Kansas, USA. As a US drone manufacturer, their mission is to provide rugged, reliable, and field-tested aircrafts to the enterprise class UAS industry. Saxon strives to provide the best drones at reasonable prices and provide actionable intelligence through the use of cutting-edge sensor technology.
Their American Made drones support high-level missions such as ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) and SAR (Search and Rescue). Their platforms include Mapping Drones, Agricultural Drones, and Inspection Drones. All components of their aircraft are made in the USA, Poland, and Canada, with no Chinese components.
Inspired Flight was founded in late 2016 by Marc Stollmeyer, an engineer with a life-long passion for robotics and UAVs. The company was initially a UAV components manufacturer. They patented the Bernoulli 3 motor, the first industrial UAV motor to successfully integrate an ESC for maximum efficiency & in-field replacement.
In early 2018, Inspired Flight introduced the first complete commercial UAV platform. The initial release has grown into what is now the IF750 series of quadcopters serving industries across the globe. From those initial prototypes to full-scale production today, Inspired Flight has taken pride in innovating and growing the domestic UAS market by committing to manufacturing in San Luis Obispo, California.
Auertion is located in Moorpark, California as well as Zürich, Switzerland. The company was created by the same people behind the open-source autopilot system, Pixhawk. This product was launched by Skynode in May 2020 as a “brain for drones.” Although Auterion has offices in the US and Switzerland, all drones are manufactured in California.
U.S. aerospace and defense stalwarts such as AeroVironment, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin have tapped into drones, but their price point is too high for most enterprise drone operations to take advantage of. With that being said, here are a few US drone manufacturers that build aerospace and defense drones.
Altavian is a drone engineering and manufacturing firm founded in 2011 and headquartered in Gainesville, Florida. Last spring, the company was awarded a Short Range Reconnaissance Prototype (SRR) contract. This was a part of the U.S. Army’s effort to field a next generation drone that weighs less than 5 pounds flown by a single operator.
InstantEye Robotics base is in Andover, Massachusetts. Their InstantEye product is a less-than-one-pound drone that can be hand-launched, flown and hand-recovered by a single person in any weather. This drone is notable in the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College’s 2020 edition of their Drone Public Safety report. This is the first non-Chinese company in a list of most common drones in use by U.S. public safety agencies.
Draganfly is located in both Raleigh, North Carolina and Saskatoon, Canada. The company has been in the commercial UAS and RPAS space for 22 years now. In March 2020, the manufacturer announced a “teaming agreement” with AeroVironment. This authorizes Draganfly’s distribution of AeroVironment’s Quantix Mapper systems to commercial markets. AeroVironment will provide Draganfly sales, marketing collateral, and product technical support for its Quantix Mapper system, which is a hybrid drone that can launch vertically and transition to horizontal flight. The drone can help with projects such as assessing crop health or damage from storm, flood, or fire. The product design makes it easy to gather accurate images across a large area.
Meanwhile, Draganfly will provide e-commerce, enterprise, direct sales operations, and oversee development of a network of resellers and strategic distribution partners worldwide.
Impossible Aerospace is based in Santa Clara, California. This company operates as a subscription model, instead of selling their drones outright. Clients rent drones via packages that start at $7,500. Impossible Aerospace CEO, Spencer Gore, believes the subscription route is better for most enterprise use cases because its engineers (also based in the U.S.) can better monitor and service drones.
Located in Valencia, California, TerraView unveiled in March the RangePro X8P – Pixhawk, a follow-up to its previous drone, the RangePro X8. The design is for industrial, first responder, and government enterprise data capture. The drone meets federal government and Department of Defense (DoD) guidelines. The company actively markets that they proudly engineer and manufacturer in the USA.
At 1UpDrones, we are here to help you find the right drone…or just educate you on what is out there. These are the top US drone manufacturers in our opinion, but the list could go on!
We have some of these drones for sale in our store as well as several other great options. If you are looking for a high quality drone for personal or commercial use, of course, we can aid in your search for the perfect one.