Drones are now gaining popularity for consumer, commercial, and civil government use. More affordable and sophisticated than ever before, they present many applications across industries, such as construction, cinematography, agriculture, and firefighting.

A December 2017 McKinsey & Company study illustrates the dramatic commercial growth of the U.S. drone industry, from a mere $40 million in 2012 to well north of a billion dollars in 2017. Some 300 companies – including such aviation and aerospace giants as GE, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman– are making substantial investments of time and resources in drones.

By 2026, McKinsey estimates that “commercial drones – both corporate and consumer applications – will have an annual impact of $31 billion to $46 billion on US Gross Domestic Product with the potential to create tens of thousands of new jobs

While it’s impossible to track each and every drone company in such a fast-moving industry, we’ve done our best to highlight the 40 hardware manufacturers to keep an eye on.

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