Collins Aerospace Museum

Friends of the Museum:

Collins Aerospace
Early History:
 by: Arlo Goodyear
 –The Collins Story
 by: Ben Stearns
 –Echo Hill Story
 by: Nancy Zook
 –The Iowan Magazine
 by: Ed Marriner
 –CQ Magazine

Our Founder:

Friends of the Collins Aerospace Museum volunteers have been chartered to preserve the history and legacy of the Collins Radio Company and Collins Aerospace.
🦤 O L D E R   P O S T S 🦤
Terry Lamb

The Museum Volunteers and Docents are saddened by the passing of Terry Lamb.
Terry was an Air Force Veteran and a long-time employee of the Collins Radio Company. For years he managed the department responsible for obtaining FAA certification and installation of Collins systems.
He served on the AACLA Board of Directors and as President, he also volunteered as a Docent at the Collins Aerospace Museum.
He was a Mentor to us all, a Friend and a Gentleman.
Read his Obituary.

James Robert Shanklin

The Museum Volunteers and Docents are saddened by the passing of James Shanklin.
Jim was a long-time Employee of the Collins Radio Company, author of several history books about Collins Radio, served on the AACLA Board of Directors and as a Docent for the Collins Aerospace Museum.
He was a active proponent of preserving the company’s Museum and its artifacts.
We will certainly miss his tour presentations.

233D Transmitter Restoration
Jim’s Crew at Work ...?
Follow our BLOG as we transcend from: ’Unit-Received’ to ’Torn-Into-A-Million-Pieces’ to ’Put-All-Back-Together-Again’.
read the blog

Collins Radio Company Records
Many of the early Collins Radio Company records are stored at the University of Iowa Special Collections & University Archives.
Visit the U of I Archives

Horizons Magazine On-line
We have ALL issues on-line!
One of the most interesting and colorful company-produced magazine was Rockwell Collins Horizons.
From 2001, to the last issue in 2015, we have all enjoyed perusing this informative publication.
Every issue was loaded with engaging articles for Rockwell Collins employees and their families.
Dive in and read a few.

Gordon Fabian, our indexer, has processed the first twelve issues - listing Events & Places, Equipment, and Names.
For this publication, he has entered all of the names on the "Anniversaries" pages.

Click here to do research.

Collins Personnel Services
News from the mid 1970’s
Just uploaded - 17 issues of the company’s publication, Collins Personnel Services.
This one followed Collins Pulse and featured local news about clubs, sports leagues, and employee activities.
Take a look. HERE.

★ Almost Complete ★
We just added seven of the 'EXTRA' versions of Pulse. take a look
Retiree, Gordy Fabian has been Indexing the collection. Make a test search yourself on the Research page.

Rockwell Vision
issues have been indexed...
Retiree, Gordy Fabian, found a little spare time and Indexed the three issues we have of Rockwell Vision. Make a test search yourself on the Research page.

Issues of PRIDE Magazine
In an effort to complete the collection of published Rockwell Collins magazines, we are seeking donations of any issues of the Rockwell PRIDE Magazine published in the 1960’s-1980’s. We currently have only a single issue and thus do not know the extent of it’s publication dates. If you have any issues of PRIDE that you would like to donate, please contact Rod Blocksome.
Send Email to
take a look!

Collins Column Issues
We have completed the upload of all 138 issues of Collins Column to our web site.
The Collins Column was first published in May 1943 primarily as a communications vehicle for employees serving in the armed forces. The magazine was published monthly through April 1947. It resumed publication again in August 1950 and continued through July 1957.
take a look Collins Column Magazines.

Collins Signal Issues
We have completed the upload of all seventy issues of Collins Signal to our web site.
These publications represent a wealth of information about the history of our company’s growth and the products we were producing - starting from the 1930’s.
take a look

A Bit of Collins History in Anamosa
You might find this 1957 "Eurovision" film about "Small Town, U.S.A. - Anamosa, Iowa" interesting.
There is a short segment about the Collins facility in Anamosa - about ten minutes into the film. The film was produced by the United States Information Service.
watch the video...

November Club Meeting
Hi all, in case you missed the November 14th meeting, attached is a summary.

Thank you, for supporting the museum, our Club, and providing funding for our important projects.
Our next meeting is tentatively planned for Thursday, January 23. We hope to see you then and bring a friend!

Happy Holidays from your FY14 Museum Club officers,

Cheryl Tillman, president
Juan Segal, vice-president
Becky Woodward, Secretary
Dick Siefers, Treasurer

History CoP Presentation for November
The Collins Years
Presented by Jim Shanklin who separated his presentation into three eras: Arthur’s family and background, pre WWII Amateur Radio equipment and business development, and the post WWII products.
view the presentation

History CoP Presentation for February
Echo Hill and Feather Ridge, presented by: Dave Hodgin, Jim Shanklin, and Rod Blocksome.
view the presentation

History CoP Presentation for September
Collins’ Role in Space Communications
Presented by Jim Shanklin - who was there to witness the day-to-day management of this huge Collins Radio Co. project.
Jim’s presentation is loaded with detail about almost every box, test rack, and antenna we produced for the programs.
Even today, we are proud to say, "Every voice from space was transmitted through a Collins Radio."
view the presentation

History CoP Presentation for March
The Fab 50s - Innovations Galore
Rockwell Collins Museum Curator, Lawrence Robinson presented part one of his slide show on the "Fabulous Fifties". In this installment, he introduced to the CoP’s 135+ attendees, a dozen or so of the company’s most innovative employees and several of their ground-breaking creations. He brought with him a number of artifacts from the Museum.
view the presentation

History CoP Presentation for January
"America's Leading Antenna Engineer"
Retired employee, James Shanklin, made an excellent presentation on his father‘s career here at Rockwell Collins as the Lead Antenna Engineer. John Pack Shanklin joined the Collins Radio Co. in 1947 and worked here until his untimely death in 1956.
view the presentation

Signed Brick Found
Arthur Collins - 1942
Arthur’s autographed brick found during renovation of the Main Plant near location of his old office.
click to read the article at KCRG-TV9’s web site.
This artifact is now in the Museum!

Passenger Entertainment
back in the 40’s
Friend of the Museum, Steve Black, found an early Collins Radio Co. advertisement that reminded him of how we were ’always a little ahead of our time’.
see what he wrote.

While rummaging through one of our back rooms, I discovered this copy of The Iowan Magazine …the one with the "Collins and the Electronic Beanstalk" article that was mentioned in the 50th anniversary book.
read the article.

Vintage Collins ART-13 on the B-29
FIFI gets Radios
Read all about the restored radio operator’s station on a flying B-29 bomber. Museum Club members and Amateur Radio Club members, both in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Richardson, Texas, contributed their expertise and time towards a fully-operational, historically-accurate, war time communications station.

"FIFI" in Cedar Rapids
Enjoyed by all!
The last flying Boeing B-29 WWII bomber was welcomed back to Cedar Rapids for several days in July. Many tours were flown over the city - much to the enjoyment to those who heard and spotted this magnificent aircraft overhead.
This historic flight was in unison with the restoration of the entire operational ART-13 Collins vintage radio suite provided by Rockwell Collins Amateur Radio Clubs and other volunteers.
Many thanks to the Commemorative Air Force for bringing "FIFI" to Cedar Rapids.

ART-13 Autototune® Demo
Collins Aerospace Museum Club member, Julius Yoder, has recently donated an ART-13 Autotune® demonstration unit to the Museum. This unit is a fully operational lower section of the famous ART-13 transmitter. The WWII-era product, built by the Collins Radio Co., featured a state-of-the-art (at the time) 10-channel five-station automatic re-tuning system.
This wonderful addition to the Museum will make it very easy for us Tour Guides to describe the operation of the ART-13. Thanks Julius!
While serving in the Air Force, Julius performed maintenance on the ART-13, including the mechanisms in the demonstration unit. As an Amateur Radio Operator, he has been collecting ART-13 spare parts and notes that, “Someday he wishes to put one of these little babes back on the air.”
Julius was also responsible for rebuilding, among other components, the fully functional radio operator’s station for “FIFI” - the last flying B-29 bomber.

Legendary Spy Radio Donated Back to Rockwell Collins
Excerpted from a KCRG TV9 article
CEDAR RAPIDS - An unheralded group of Vietnam War-era Army signals intelligence officers took a step into the daylight Friday to donate one of their favorite radios back to its manufacturer.
The 265th Radio Research Company used many radios in their service in Vietnam from 1967 to 1972, but the R-390A HF (high-frequency) receiver they donated to the Rockwell Collins museum was something special, they said.

"This has been a workhorse," said Doug Bonnot of Jonesboro, Tenn., the president of the Radio Research Company Veteran Group .

Bonnot said he doubted that there was anyone who worked in uniform for the Army Security Agency, Air Force Security Service, Naval Security group or Marine Radio Battalion who doesn?t remember the R-390 HF receiver fondly.

The receiver was so capable that it was considered top secret, the veterans said. It is now a favorite of amateur radio operators, who sometimes pay to buy and restore them.

Bonnot said members of his unit worked long hours at the radios day-in and day-out monitoring communications. Potentially valuable radio intelligence was recorded and passed off to other specialists who could decode and translate them, Bonnot said.

"You were in a battle every day," Bonnot said. "Your weapon is a radio, and your stock and trade is information the enemy put out over the radio."

Lawrence Robinson, who oversees Rockwell Collins? corporate museum, said almost everything in the museum has been donated to the company. He thanked the group for the 1952-vintage radio, one of the earlier models produced.

The radios were designed by Collins Radio, now Rockwell Collins, and many were manufactured by the company in Cedar Rapids. Many were made by other companies under defense contracts. About 20,000 of the 55,000-plus R-390 HF receivers made came from Collins.

"The stories about this radio are legendary," Robinson said. "There are still urban legends circulating that there are old-timers deep in the bowels of these three-letter agencies using them."

Robinson said the United States government shredded "literally thousands" of the radios, apparently to keep them out of the wrong hands when they were no longer needed.

Rockwell Collins has had a corporate museum since 1983 for its clients and employees.
Read the complete article at KCRG TV9