Collins Aerospace Museum


Collins Aerospace
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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 Museum:
Product Timeline

1930s: Provided the first radios to police departments across the country

1934: First airborne radio on the Goodyear airship "Enterprise"

1934: The Byrd Antarctic Expedition II sails with complete Collins short wave broadcasting station aboard (Collins Signal, January 1934)

1938: The Autotune® is invented allowing mechanical band switching and tuning of radios in aircraft and ground installations; the ART 13 transmitter, which incorporated the Autotune®, became standard equipment on all military airplanes during WWII

1940s: Collins pioneered Linear Tuned Circuits, providing operators at remote stations with a choice of thousands of frequencies, ("Collins and the Electronic Beanstalk" article by Nancy Gibbons Zook, 1956)

1945: Collins built and installed the world's first commercially built cyclotron, also known as an "atom smasher" at Brookhaven, Long Island, ("The Collins Story" by Arlo C. Goodyear, 14 October 1954)

1949: First to observe lunar eclipse by use of radio astronomy,
("Collins History is Record of "Firsts" Orange County Industrial News, 1961)

1950s: Developed the 50-foot Big Dish antenna at the Naval Research Laboratory, the world's first parabolic reflector which enabled astronomers to hear into outer space,
("Collins and the Electronic Beanstalk" article by Nancy Gibbons Zook, 1956)

1952: In cooperation with the National Bureau of Standards, sent the first long distance message using the moon as a reflector, ("Collins and the Electronic Beanstalk" article by Nancy Gibbons Zook, 1956)

1956: With Art at the dials, a U.S. Military plane flying atop the North Pole made radio contact with another U.S. craft hovering over the South Pole, (Time, 24 September 1956)

1959: The first to develop an inflatable reflector antenna which could survive the outside environment without the protection of an external radome, ("The First Fifty Years" by Ken C. Braband, 1983)

1960: The first photograph transmitted via satellite was a picture of President Eisenhower, sent from Cedar Rapids to Richardson, ("The First Fifty Years" by Ken C. Braband, 1983)

1960s: Collins supplied the communications systems used by America's first astronauts in the Mercury Space Capsule Freedom-7 and Liberty Bell-7.
Collins supplied the communications systems on the first manned Apollo spacecraft. [Note: Art was invited to appear with Walter Cronkite during CBS' coverage of the first Apollo moon landing in 1972, but Art declined, and let the glamour go elsewhere, (Cedar Rapids Gazette 3 December 1972).] Development and production of the Apollo project at Collins Radio took nearly five years, and at its peak involved nearly 600 employees

1961: By 1961, Collins Radio Co. owned 623 U.S. patents

1962: Developed the first sea-going radio sextant for celestial navigation,
(Cedar Rapids Gazette article, 12 December 1965)

1969: Collins introduces new distance measuring equipment (DME) and ATC transponder

1970: First commercial avionics use of High-Level-Language (AED)

1970: World's first microcomputer (Collins microcomputer) with HLL-driven architecture, began

1977: First to receive GPS satellite signal acquired, tracked, and decoded at 11:41 p.m., July 18, 1977,
(Cedar Rapids Gazette article 19 July 1977 and an internal company presentation)

1980: World's first 16-Bit CMOS microprocessor (AAMP)

1983: World's first commercial avionics use of Ada High-level Language (Beech Starship)

1987: Validated Ada/AAMP compiler

1993: World's first verified (to FAA requirements) microprocessor (FCP2000)

1995: World leadership in formal microprocessor verification

1997: World's first Java-embedded microprocessor: JEM

- Compiled by: Cheryl Tillman