BendixKing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell, is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this month. The well-known avionics company develops a full suite of avionics that it sells and supports through over 500 authorized dealers located throughout the North and South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and the South Pacific. So how did this company come about you ask?
It all started with Vincent Hugo Bendix, a pioneer and leader in both the automotive and aviation industries. He began the Bendix organization with an idea for an automatic starter for automobiles in 1911. It was a major breakthrough for Vincent and just after a few years he decided to take his expertise into the aviation industry. As a result, in 1929, the Bendix Corporation was renamed the Bendix Aviation Corporation. Vincent decided to rename the company to signify its new direction.
Later, after a decade of research, Bendix formed its radio division in 1937, specializing in avionics and radio transmitters and receivers for aircraft. Two years later, in 1939, military orders were at an all-time high. With a steady work flow, Bendix resigned as chairman of the board of the Bendix Aviation Corporation, setting out to form another company, Bendix Helicopter, Inc.
While Bendix worked on his helicopter company, Ed King, one of the most important figures in the development of modern avionics, formed the King Radio Corporation. The success of the King Radio Corporation began with the invention of the first low-cost, crystal-controlled, 90 channel, CHF transceiver for smaller aircraft, dubbed the KY 90. King Radio then released the KTR 900, the first all solid-state transceiver, for airlines in 1966.
Allied Corporation, purchased the Bendix Corporation and King Radio in 1983 and combined the two to create the now-renowned BendixKing brand of avionics. In 1985, the Allied Corporation merged with the Signal Companies to become Allied-Signal. The name was further modified to AlliedSignal in 1993, to reinforce a one-company image and signify the full integration of its business.
Finally, in 1999, AlliedSignal merged with Honeywell and adopted the Honeywell name to take advantage of the company’s universal recognition throughout the industries it serves, as well as in households around the world. Honeywell announced that due to pilot recognition and loyalty, it would retain the BendixKing brand for its general aviation avionics. In 2011, BendixKing established its new headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In 2019, BendixKing continues to execute on its vision by driving the natural evolution of communication into the next generation of aviation connectivity. Going forward, all BendixKing avionics will be natively “connected avionics” and support Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other similar communications, work seamlessly with satellite and ground-based networks, and wirelessly connect to other avionics. In BendixKing’s vision, ultimately, general aviation will be a part of a global in-flight network, and anything pilots and passengers can do on the ground, they will be able to do in the air.
Here’s to another 60 years of flying!