May 1939 QST
Table of Contents
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
QST, published December 1915 - present (visit ARRL
for info). All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
This 1939 QST magazine advertisement for the Collins Radio
17D Autotune transmitters serves a couple purposes. The first and to me the most
important is that it features the magnificent Douglas DC-3 twin engine commercial
airliner. The military version, the
Skytrain transport, was listed by
Dwight D. Eisenhower as being among the four most important pieces
of hardware (the others were the bazooka, the jeep, the atom bomb - he called them
the "Tools of Victory") that helped win World War II in the European theater.
It dropped the paratroopers and towed troop gliders during the D-Day invasion. Interestingly,
although Collins claims the 17D Autotune transmitters were widely installed in Douglas
and Lockheed aircraft, a pretty extensive search for a photograph of a surviving
unit turned up nothing. I did find, however, a copy of this exact same advertisement
Collins Radio Advertisement
Collins Autotune* Sets Records
Braniff Airways, operating a fleet of Douglas and Lockheed transports throughout
the great Southwest, uses the Collins 17D Autotune, 100 watt, 10 frequency Transmitter
in all ships. Ten 17D's have been in constant service for two years and ten new
17D's have just been delivered to take care of increased operations.
The 17D is
the first high powered transport transmitter.
the first 10 frequency aircraft transmitter.
the first 100 watt set to receive CAA approval.
the first modern aircraft transmitter to be proved out during millions of miles
* Autotune - The exclusive Collins device used on aircraft and ground transmitters
to accomplish quick automatic frequency shift with absolute reliability.
Collins Radio Company
Cedar Rapids, Iowa New York, N.Y. 11 West 42 St.
Posted August 9, 2022
(updated from original post