Since its founding as Collins Radio in 1933, Rockwell Collins and its products have been recognized for distinctive quality and state-of-the-art technology. Collins Radio Company, founded by Arthur Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, initially designed and produced short wave radio equipment. The company steadily grew, and captured the world's attention when Collins supplied the equipment to establish a communications link with the South Pole expedition of Rear Admiral Richard Byrd in 1933.
During the next three decades, Collins continued to expand its work in all phases of the communications field while broadening its technology thrust into numerous other disciplines. New developments such as flight control instruments, radio communication devices and satellite voice transmissions created great opportunities in the marketplace. Collins Radio Company provided communications in America's space program, including equipment for astronauts to communicate with earth stations and equipment to track and communicate with spacecraft. Collins communications equipment was used for the Apollo, Gemini and Mercury programs, providing voice communication for every American astronaut traveling through space. In 1973, the U.S. Skylab Program used Collins equipment to provide communication from the astronauts to earth.
When the company experienced financial difficulties in 1973, Rockwell International, a diversified high-technology company, acquired Collins Radio Company. The company further strengthened the focus on aviation electronics in May 1998 when Rockwell Collins exited the Precision Agriculture and Integrated Local Government business and sold the Railroad Electronics business to Westinghouse Air Brake Company. On June 29, 2001, Rockwell Collins, Inc. was spun-off from Rockwell International and began trading its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COL." Today, Rockwell Collins, Inc. designs, produces, markets and supports electronic communications, avionics and in-flight entertainment systems for commercial, military and government customers worldwide.
Rockwell Collins-brand aircraft electronics are installed in the cockpits of nearly every airline in the world and its airborne and ground-based communication systems transmit nearly 70 percent of all U.S. and allied military airborne communication. The acquisitions of several companies, including Hughes-Avicom's in-flight entertainment business, Intertrade Ltd., Flight Dynamics, K Systems, Inc. (Kaiser companies), Communication Solutions, Inc., Airshow, Inc., NLX, Evans & Sutherland, SEOS, Athena Technologies, DataPath and Air Routing International provides opportunities to expand relationships with customers and supply advanced avionics solutions.
The next century of flight presents significant opportunities and challenges for improving flight operations, efficiency and safety through developments in aviation electronics. Rockwell Collins is addressing these challenges by creating the most trusted source of communication and aviation electronic solutions. The company is well-positioned for the future with significant avionics content on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350XWB. In addition, the company is expanding its military offering to the ground market while continuing to be a leader in providing aviation solutions across domains.