Insitu growth soars

A remote-aircraft manufacturer in Washington experiences soaring growth.

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Since its launch in 1994, Insitu has grown from four employees to 657 employees, nearly the population of its hometown of Bingen, Wash. The company recently marked the 1,000th delivery of its chief product, the ScanEagle.

Insitu’s success is impressive partly because it’s been achieved in an unlikely location, the Gorge, known better for its access to outdoor sports. Insitu chose the Gorge region to develop its miniature robotic aircraft in part because it provided a remote area to fly experimental planes.

Sliwa’s remarks Thursday suggested the company, which has succeeded in luring highly trained engineers because of its choice location, intends to stay in the area. Whether it will continue to have 400 or so of its employees spread among 17 buildings from Vancouver to White Salmon to Bingen to Hood River is another matter.

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