Share Your Thoughts

We have been fortunate to have so many incredibly talented people be a part of our history and help contribute to AeroVironment’s success over the past 50 years. We invite you – employees, retirees, family members, customers, UAS enthusiasts, vendors, and everyone in between to share your memory with us. This memory section will serve as a lasting reminder of our shared history with people around the world.

Share Your Own Memories
By Mandy Cannone

I have many memorable moments over my 30 years here at AeroVironment, but there is one that stands out. Even as I was living the moment, I said to myself "this is a once in a lifetime event, and I am lucky to be a part of it.

It was August 2001 and I was asked to support the Helios Team and Business Development at PMRF in Hawaii. This was the big one, the high altitude test, and I was going to be there. I was very excited. We always worked as a team, no task too small, and what a wonderful gift to witness all the years of hard work and dedication payoff in the beautiful takeoff and landing of the Helios aircraft.

The day started before dawn and Helios took off at 8:48am. I knew it was going to be a long day for all, especially for the dedicated flight team and pilots. I was nervous all day and kept looking at one of the monitors in the hangar that showed a live feed from the wing cam. It was amazing. I was even lucky enough to tour the Command or Control Center inside PMRF where I saw the altitude climbing as everyone worked hard to make this a successful mission.

Around midnight I moved my car to a good viewing position near the runway and also within running distance to the only good cell reception spot on base. I had my cell phone in one hand and my walkie-talkie in the other, waiting for the latest descent information and approximate landing time. I was dozing off when I heard the news, "it's almost here!" I jumped out of the car to look for the lights - there they were, moving very slowing above the base. After 16 hours and 54 minutes, Helios landed at 1:42am. My first call was to a co-worker in California; I promised her I would deliver the good news as it happened: Helios had landed safely and was on its way back to the hangar.

I wish everyone could have been there to witness such an amazing milestone for the NASA ERAST Program, and more importantly, a major accomplishment for the AV Team in Hawaii and California. My heart was filled with joy as I congratulated everyone I saw, "job well done"!

Jul 16, 2020

By Diana Corrales

I have had many moments with my co-workers over the years at AeroVironment. Some of those moments have been hilarious and some have been sad, but they have always been spent with people that I just don''t think of as my co-workers, but as my friends. Since I began working at AeroVironment (I was nineteen) this company has become my second family. I was fortunate to find a company like AeroVironment.

One moment where I felt I worked for a great company and a great man was around six months of me being employed at AeroVironment. I was channel surfing and stopped at Jeopardy. I never watched Jeopardy but for some reason I did this day. The second or third question surprised me. The answer was something like "Who developed the Gossamer Albatross?" which of course grabbed my attention. I knew the answer, "Who is Dr. Paul MacCready." Of course that was the correct answer and one of the players answered the question correctly. This was exciting but I was home alone so I could not brag that was where I worked. This company has taught me a lot, not only professionally, but also on a personal level.

It has been a pleasure being a part of AeroVironment over the past 32 years and I hope to have many more years ahead.

Jul 16, 2020

By Charlie Botsford

I was with AV for over half of its 50 years -- and may AV have another 50+ years, by the way. In that time, I saw AV grow from a small environmental consulting firm in the 1990s, with a boutique mechanical group that did vehicle projects and a few drones a year, to a full up aerospace company with a side business in EV chargers. My fondest memories were of Dr. MacCready frequently dropping by my office and saying, "Hey Charlie, let's go for lunch." We would usually go to a small Mexican restaurant in Monrovia, have tacos, and solve the world's problems. His was an amazing mind that I'll never forget. He left an incredible legacy for the world.

Jul 29, 2020

By John Maciejewski

While working at the RadioShack in Monrovia, I helped a lot of Engineers from AeroViroment. I was going to school for Engineering and they encouraged me to apply once I graduated. I did, but I was not hired. I went to General Dynamics and now JPL. 4 Rovers and a Helicoptor later, I still sometimes think of the encouraging words I was given by your Engineers. Congratulations on your 1st 50 years!

Aug 24, 2020

By Mark Allison

Dr. MacCready was my friend. One fine summer day in 1975, we (So. Cal Hang Gliding School) asked Paul if he wanted to try hang gliding (his two sons already were). He said "sure" - so we gave him a keel-assisted launch from the dunes at Pt. Sal and he soared for over an hour! He was already a world class sailplane pilot at the time. It was the light wing loading of hang gliders that got Dr. MacCready interested in developing his Kremer prize-winner (Gossamer Condor) along the same lines using super light aluminum tubes, external wire bracing, super light mylar covering.

Aug 24, 2020

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