AeroVironment’s Puma AE Small Unmanned Aircraft System Receives Federal Aviation Administration Type Certificate for

  AeroVironment’s Puma AE Small Unmanned Aircraft System Receives Federal
  Aviation Administration Type Certificate for Commercial Use

  *Puma is first-ever hand-launched unmanned aircraft system to be approved
    by FAA for commercial missions
  *First-of-its-kind Restricted Category type rating permits commercial
    missions

Business Wire

MONROVIA, Calif. -- July 26, 2013

AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV) today announced that on July 19, 2013 it
received a “Restricted Category” rating for its Puma AE™ small unmanned
aircraft system from the Federal Aviation Administration. The
first-of-its-kind certificate permits operators to fly Puma for commercial
missions, such as oil spill monitoring and ocean surveys, in the North Slope
region of the Arctic.

AeroVironment's Puma AE unmanned aircraft system (UAS) (Photo: Business Wire)

AeroVironment's Puma AE unmanned aircraft system (UAS) (Photo: Business Wire)

Prior to this Restricted Category type certificate being issued, it was not
possible to operate an unmanned aircraft system in the national airspace for
commercial operations. Although a potential user could obtain an experimental
airworthiness certificate, the certificate specifically excluded and did not
authorize the use of an unmanned aircraft system for commercial operations.

“This certificate represents an aviation milestone that could not have
happened without the FAA’s vision and leadership,” said Tim Conver,
AeroVironment chairman and chief executive officer. “Aerial observation
missions can now be safely accomplished in hazardous Arctic locations, which
will reduce the risk of manned aviation in an efficient, cost-effective and
environmentally friendly manner. We believe initial operations in the Arctic
can lead to long-term broad adoption for similar applications elsewhere in the
United States and throughout the world.”

AeroVironment expects Puma AE to be deployed later this summer to support
emergency response crews for oil spill monitoring and wildlife observation off
the coast of the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Circle.

Researchers and other entities now will be able to perform aerial observation
at significantly lower operational costs compared to manned aircraft. Puma AE
also gives personnel the ability to immediately obtain and analyze aerial
monitoring data because they will be able to hand launch Puma AE whenever
needed, giving them a new option to traditional methods, such as manned
aircraft, support ships and satellites.

The 13-pound Puma AE unmanned aircraft system does not require any
infrastructure, such as runways, launching pads, or recovery devices. It is
man-portable and can be assembled in minutes, hand-launched and recovered on
sea or land. This marks the first time the FAA has approved a hand-launched
unmanned aircraft system for commercial missions.

“Because Puma is a very quiet aircraft and battery operated it can monitor
critical natural wildlife habitats at low altitudes without disturbing the
animals or adversely affecting pristine environments,” said Roy Minson,
AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of the company’s
Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. “Puma also is very flexible and
easy to use because operators can take it anywhere without needing to haul any
infrastructure, such as a launcher or recovery device, on the missions. This
is especially important for oceangoing vessels, since installing new
infrastructure can be a long and costly process.”

The FAA stated in its announcement that previous military acceptance of the
Puma AE design allowed the FAA to issue the Restricted Category type
certificate.

About AeroVironment’s Family of Small UAS

RQ-11B Raven®, RQ-12 Wasp AE™, RQ-20A Puma™ and Shrike VTOL™ comprise
AeroVironment’s Family of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Operating with a
common ground control system (GCS), this Family of Systems provides increased
capability to the warfighter that can give ground commanders the option of
selecting the appropriate aircraft based on the type of mission to be
performed. This increased capability has the potential to provide significant
force protection and force multiplication benefits to small tactical units and
security personnel. AeroVironment provides logistics services worldwide to
ensure a consistently high level of operational readiness and provides mission
services for customers requiring only the information its small UAS produce.
AeroVironment has delivered thousands of new and replacement small unmanned
air vehicles to customers within the United States and to more than twenty
international governments.

The Qube™ small UAS is tailored to search and rescue, first response, law
enforcement and other public safety missions. Small enough to fit easily in
the trunk of a car, the Qube system can be unpacked, assembled and ready for
flight in less than five minutes, giving the operator a rapidly deployable eye
in the sky at a fraction of the cost of manned aircraft and large unmanned
aircraft.

About AeroVironment, Inc.

AeroVironment is a technology solutions provider that designs, develops,
produces, operates and supports an advanced portfolio of Unmanned Aircraft
Systems (UAS) and electric transportation solutions. Agencies of the U.S.
Department of Defense and allied military services use the company’s
electric-powered, hand-launched unmanned aircraft systems extensively to
provide situational awareness to tactical operating units through real-time,
airborne reconnaissance, surveillance and communication. Multiple government
agencies have helped to fund the development and demonstration of Global
Observer®, a hybrid-electric, stratospheric UAS designed to provide
affordable, persistent reconnaissance and communication over any location on
the globe. Switchblade™ is a tactical missile system designed to provide a
rapid, lethal, pinpoint precision strike capability with minimal collateral
damage. AeroVironment’s electric transportation solutions include a
comprehensive suite of electric vehicle (EV) charging systems, installation
and data services for consumers, automakers, utilities and government
agencies, power cycling and test systems for EV developers and industrial
electric vehicle charging systems for commercial fleets. More information
about AeroVironment is available at www.avinc.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking
statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of current
expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties,
including, but not limited to, economic, competitive, governmental and
technological factors outside of our control, that may cause our business,
strategy or actual results to differ materially from those expressed or
implied. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the
forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, our ability to
perform under existing contracts and obtain additional contracts; our reliance
on sales to the U.S. government; changes in the timing and/or amount of
government spending; changes in the supply and/or demand and/or prices for our
products and services; changes in the regulatory environment; the activities
of competitors; failure of the markets in which we operate to grow; failure to
expand into new markets; failure to develop new products or integrate new
technology with current products; and general economic and business conditions
in the United States and elsewhere in the world. For a further list and
description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports we file with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent Annual Report on
Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on 10-Q. We do not intend, and undertake no
obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of
new information, future events or otherwise.

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Contact:

AeroVironment, Inc.
Steven Gitlin, +1-626-357-9983
pr@avinc.com
or
For AeroVironment, Inc.
Mark Boyer, +1-310-229-5956
mark@boyersyndicate.com
 
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