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History of the manufacturer  

Aircraft Radio Corporation, Boonton, New Jersey

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Name: Aircraft Radio Corporation, Boonton, New Jersey    (USA)  
Abbreviation: aircraft
Products: Model types

Aircraft Radio Corp.; Boonton, New Jersey, USA. A 1929 ARC booklet entitled “Development of Aircraft Radio Receivers” (courtesy of Albert Helfrick an employee of Aircraft Radio Corporation, from 1977-1984) shows, in the fall of circa 1927, Aircraft Radio Corporation, which was a wholly-owned subsidiary of, Radio Frequency Laboratories, was spun off as a separate company.

Air communication equipment known, hybrid technology using Tubes, Nuvistors and Transistors.


This manufacturer was suggested by David Pfister.

Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
USA  65 RT-524A 6CW4  Hybrid mit Nuvistoren in NF- und HF-Stufen, Röhren in der Endstufe und L-Transistoren im N... 
USA  43 DM-416 Dynamotor   Radio Dynamotor Type DM-416. WW2 Vintage, manufactured for use in aircraft radios.... 
USA  44–46 Dynamotor D-10A ARC Type 14482   This is a dynamotor unit for ARC-12 type radios. Dynamotor Unit Type D-10A (28V) ... 
USA  70 Rec-Transmitter RT-328C   NAV  108.00-117.95 MHZ, COMM  118.00-135.95 MHZ 
USA  43 VHF Transmitter T-21 5763  Military aircraft VHF Transmitter  116 - 132 MHz range 10 channels (plug-in c... 


Further details for this manufacturer by the members (rmfiorg):

Forum contributions about this manufacturer/brand
Aircraft Radio Corporation, Boonton, New Jersey
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Aircraft Radio Corporation and Airfield, Boonton, NJ
Bruce Morgenstern

Aircraft Radio Corporation and Airfield, Boonton, NJ

A 1929 Aircraft Radio Corporation booklet entitled “Development of Aircraft Radio Receivers” (courtesy of Albert Helfrick an employee of, Aircraft Radio Corporation, from 1977-1984)  shows, in the fall of circa 1927, Aircraft Radio Corporation, which was a wholly-owned subsidiary of, Radio Frequency Laboratories, was spun off as a separate company. 

Aircraft Radio Corporation, during the 1920’s , developed airborne radio equipment for military and civilian aircraft. They also developed the radio beacon system used for the September, 1929 demonstration of blind flight by Lt. James (Jimmy) Doolittle. 

According to Albert Helfrick, the 1929 booklet shows pictures of a totally complete facility, buildings completely furnished, hangar, cleared runways etc. It had to take more than a year to do this, especially with the North Jersey winters. Also, the land is reasonably flat but there was a brook that ran through the property and some of the land had to be filled in & graded. This had to take months. Therefore, I would say, the construction took place for the entire year of 1928.”

A 1956 aerial photo looking northeast from a card commissioned by ARC (courtesy of Geroge Torpey). George noted, “The buildings at the bottom housed the production facilities. The engineering building is above it & the administrative functions were housed in the buildings above engineering.

In early 1929 an engineering conference was held at the Flying Field, and the electronic instruments industry came in full force to celebrate the opening & dedication of the company's new facilities, which included a hangar at the Flying Field & a laboratory in the town of Boonton. While, Jimmy Doolittle’s, consolidated trainer plane was stored in a hangar at, Aircraft Radio Corporation, he became a familiar personality on the local scene. It was in this plane in late 1929 that he made his famous "under-the-hood" landing at Mitchel Field, N.Y. Aircraft Radio Corporation personnel having installed his special ARC model receiver & radio gear.

A 2005 photo by Forrest Smith of one of the former Aircraft Radio Corporation production buildings.


By 1933, Aircraft Radio Corporation, designed equipment, was installed in the 1st fighter squadrons of the Army Air Corps & Navy. They also designed and manufactured a great number their ARC-5 suite of radios for WWII aircraft.

Radio Frequency Laboratories, Aircraft Radio Corporation was purchased by Cessna  in 1954, according to Albert Helfrick.. I was told many years ago, it became a, wholly owned subsidiary of Cessna in 1954. It later became a 'division' of Cessna.

I have an article from, The Citizen of Morris County, a magazine which outlines Boonton, New Jersey, and its role in the Electronic Precision Instrument Industry, by Edgar Weed. In the article it names the officers of the, Aircraft Radio Corporation, and they are the original, Radio Frequency Laboratories, group. This would give credence that, Cessna, was not the owner or a major player in 1950 and  that the 1954 date of purchase if very plausible.

The, Aircraft Radio Corporation, eventually went on to become the standard-equipment supplier of avionics in the many thousands of Cessna civil aircraft produced between 1950 & 1980. They continued to use their airfield for test flights of aircraft equipped with their avionics.

George Torpey recalled, “I worked for Aircraft Radio Corporation from 1957 through 1970 holding a number of different positions in commercial field engineering, sales systems engineering, and military sales and marketing, all of which included piloting company owned and/or operated aircraft into & out of the Booton, NJ airfield. It was a great place to work with a great history in the development of products for both military & commercial aviation. It is sad that the company is probably remembered most for the lower-quality panel-mounted radios that Cessna forced the company to build for their general aviation aircraft after they acquired ARC.”


Sources; A majority of this article is from, Airfields-Freeman, with permission for reuse by Paul Freeman. The article was interspersed with specific data from IEEE Digital Library.  

Bruce Morgenstern  


Aircraft Radio Corporation, Boonton, New Jersey
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