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The Drone Iran Says It Captured Was Made in the Columbia Gorge

The American military drone that Iran claims it captured is the kind of unmanned spy aircraft manufactured in the Columbia River Gorge.

Officials in Tehran say they've captured a ScanEagle drone, a five-foot long craft built by Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary in Bingen, Wash., across the Columbia from Hood River, Oregon.

U.S. military leaders say none of their drones is missing.

The ScanEagle drone is unarmed, flies at 20,000 feet and can track subjects for up to 24 hours.

It was invented in 2002 by Insitu's founders, Hood River-based aeronautic engineers Tad McGeer and Andy von Flotow, who first designed unmanned aircraft to track schools of tuna for fishing companies.

Insitu began producing ScanEagles for the Defense Department in 2004, and Boeing bought the company in 2008.

WW examined the company—and the boon of military drones to the Gorge economy—in a cover story written by James Pitkin in 2010, "...It Came From the Gorge."

The story noted that one of the inventors had regrets about selling ScanEagles to the military: