United Technologies has acquired avionics maker Rockwell Collins in a $30-billion deal. United Technologies said it wants to further enhance its role in aviation for both its military and commercial customers in the area of new aircraft connectivity systems.
Collins Radio and later Rockwell Collins for many years manufactured top-tier Amateur Radio equipment. Art Collins, W0CXX, founded Collins Radio Company in 1933. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based firm initially built shortwave and AM broadcasting gear as well as the military and scientific communities, and Collins provided the radio equipment to keep in touch with Admiral Richard Byrd’s South Pole Expedition in 1933.
During World War II, Collins became the principal supplier of military radio and navigation equipment, and Collins later produced Amateur Radio equipment and provided communication gear for early NASA missions.
Collins Radio Company was purchased by Rockwell International in 1973. In 2001, the avionics division of Rockwell International was spun off to form Rockwell Collins. In its Amateur Radio heyday, the Collins S-Line was considered the king of the hill. Vintage Collins gear remains popular, and Collins mechanical filters are still widely used.