I see weapons as an individual art form that we integrate into the training of aikido, not as a part of aikido. To me Aikido will always be done empty handed. I've already read all the other comments and agree with some sentiments, and others I think are merely juvenile and misinformed.
O'Sensei did in fact begin this art and did in fact use weapons. Saotome Sensei has developed many wonderful kumi tachi that he integrates into his art. I myself have written and taught the Shoshin Kumijo katas for years, yet I still think of them as extra to the art. So to the question asked, I say no. But without weapons we would be poorer indeed. Aikido is principle and not everyone's choice of physical manifestation will agree with everyone else. The principles do not require weapons.