Sanwa Electronic

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Coordinates: 34°40′19″N135°37′21″E / 34.67205°N 135.622603°E / 34.67205; 135.622603

Contents

Sanwa Electronic Instrument
Native name
三和電子機器株式会社
Type Kabushiki gaisha
Sanwa
FoundedAugust 1959 (1959-08)
Headquarters Higashiōsaka, ,
Key people
Seiji Suzuki
Products
  • Radio-controlled transmitters
  • Remote control devices
Revenue60 million yen
Total assets 3.1 billion yen (2013)
Number of employees
80
Parent SMC Group
Subsidiaries Airtronics
Website www.sanwa-denshi.co.jp
www.airtronics.net

Sanwa Electronic Instrument Co., Ltd. (三和電子機器株式会社, Sanwa denshi kiki kabushiki kaisha), widely known as Sanwa, is a brand of wireless equipment best known for its high end radio-controlled transmitters for scale modelling use. The company have been a subsidiary of the SMC Group since 1965 and began to diversify into the manufacturing of radio-controlled transmitters in 1974 and remote control devices for home and industrial use since 1985.

In North America, Sanwa transmitters were marketed as Airtronics up until early 2016, which began as an independent company producing model airplanes.

History

Sanwa, originally as part of Sansei Electric Industry, specialized in the research and development of remote control devices in 1959. It merged with Sanwa Denki Manufacturing in 1965 and then became part of the SMC Group. In January 1974, Sanwa entered production and sales of transmitters for radio-controlled models and in December, became a member of the Japan Radio Control Model Industrial Association (JRM). [1]

In 1975, Sanwa became a division on its own, with an office in Tokyo. In August that year it launched its first radio-controlled transmitter, the Mini Propo, and in 1976, Sanwa became an independent company. Its M-sechs wheeled transmitter was the recipient of the Good Design Award in 1990. [1] In 1985, Sanwa diversified into the production of remote controls for domestic and industrial purposes. [2]

Due to its reputation in the radio-controlled modelling industry, its main competitor is Futaba. [3] KO Propo and Spektrum.


Airtronics

Airtronics logo (1970s-2016) Airtronics logo (1970s-2016).svg
Airtronics logo (1970s-2016)

F. Lee Renaud began his hobby in model aviation in 1942 with a Joe Ott kit; he began to fly competitively in 1947. [4] While recovering from a heart attack in 1970, Renaud used his medical leave from his office-equipment company job to build radio-controlled airplanes. [3] He formed Airtronics in 1971 to build and sell model airplanes and radio remote-control devices. In his first year, he turned over $40,000. [3] Renaud earned a reputation with model aircraft such as the "Olympic", "Aquila", "Grand Esprit" and "Sagitta", amongst others. In 1980, he introduced the XL transmitter. [4] Renaud died in January 1983, and his wife Barbara took over the company. [3]

In 1982, realizing that his company wouldn't expand on its own without financial backing, Renaud took on a partnership with Sanwa, which bought an undisclosed large stake in the company while the family retained a controlling interest. Under the agreement, the Renauds built airplanes whilst Sanwa took charge of manufacturing radio-controlled transmitters for the Renauds to distribute. As a result, Airtronics increased its sales from less than $1 million in 1983 to $3 million in 1985, and to $8 million in 1989 with a staff of 18 employees. [3]

The company continued as a family business until 2007 when Global Hobby Distributors took over distributorship. Following business restructuring in Japan, the distributor announced that their partnership came to an end in 2016 and the brand will itself be discontinued although still continuing under a new distributor, Serpent America, as Sanwa. [5] [6] [7]

The library of Academy of Model Aeronautics's National Model Aviation Museum is named after Renaud. [4] Sanwa's Aquila 6 is named after his airplane.

Accolades

The Airtronics Caliber 3PS (known internationally as the Sanwa M-zechs) became the first of twelve consecutive Radio Control Car Action's Readers' Choice Award for Best Transmitter in 1996 by Airtronics; eight of those was achieved by its successor, the M8. [8]

IFMAR World Championship winners

Following is a list of users who won the IFMAR World Championships, a biennial world championship for radio-controlled cars, using Sanwa/Airtronics transmitters.

YearClassNameModelReport
19851/10 Off-Road Stock Flag of the United States.svg Jay HalseyAirtronics XL2P Report
19851/10 Off-Road Unlimited Flag of the United States.svg Gil Losi, Jr. Airtronics XL2P Report
19871/8 IC Track Flag of the United States.svg Pete FuscoAirtronics Report
19901/8 Off-Road Flag of Japan.svg Koji Sanada [9] Sanwa Machine-1 Report
19911/10 Off-Road 4WD Flag of the United States.svg Cliff Lett [10] Airtronics CS2P Report
19921/12 On-Road Flag of the United States.svg Tony NeisingerAirtronics Caliber 3P Report
1992PRO 10 Flag of the United States.svg Joel Johnson [11] Airtronics CS2P Report
19921/8 Off-Road Flag of Japan.svg Kunihiro Toge [12] Sanwa M-zechs Report
19931/10 Off-Road 2WD Flag of the United States.svg Brian Kinwald [13] Airtronics CS2P Report
19951/10 Off-Road 2WD Flag of the United States.svg Matt Francis [14] Airtronics Caliber 3PS Report
19951/10 Off-Road 4WD Flag of the United States.svg Mark Pavidis [14] Airtronics CS2P
1996PRO 10 Flag of the United States.svg Mike Swauger [15] Airtronics Caliber 3PS
19971/8 IC Track Flag of Italy.svg Lamberto Collari Sanwa
19971/10 Off-Road 2WD Flag of the United States.svg Brian Kinwald Airtronics Caliber 3PS Report
19991/10 Off-Road 4WD Flag of Finland.svg Jukka Steenari [16] Sanwa M8 Report
20001/10 IC 235mm Touring Car Flag of Germany.svg Michael Salven Report
20011/8 IC Track Flag of Japan.svg Kenji OsakaSanwa M8
20021/10 Off-Road 2WD Flag of the United States.svg Matt Francis Airtronics M8 Report
20021/10 Off-Road 4WD Flag of Finland.svg Jukka SteenariSanwa M8
20021/10 IC 235mm Touring Car Flag of the United States.svg Brian Berry [17] Airtronics M8 Report
20031/8 IC Track Flag of Italy.svg Lamberto Collari [18] Sanwa
20031/10 Off-Road 2WD Flag of the United States.svg Billy Easton Airtronics M8 Report
20041:10 ISTC Flag of Germany.svg Marc Rheinard [19] Sanwa M8 Report
20041/10 IC Touring Car Flag of France.svg Adrien Bertin [20]
20031/10 Off-Road 4WD Flag of the United States.svg Ryan Cavalieri Airtronics M11 Report
20051/10 Off-Road 4WD Flag of the United States.svg Ryan Cavalieri [21] Airtronics M11 Report
20051/8 IC Track Flag of Italy.svg Lamberto Collari Sanwa Super EXES
20061/10 IC Touring Car Flag of Japan.svg Keisuke Fukuda [22] Report
20071/5 Touring Car Flag of Denmark.svg Martin LissauSanwa M11
20071/8 IC Track Flag of Italy.svg Lamberto Collari
20081/10 IC Touring Car Flag of Italy.svg Daniele Ielasi Report
20081:10 ISTC Flag of Germany.svg Marc Rheinard [23] Sanwa M11 Report
20091/8 IC Track Flag of Italy.svg Lamberto Collari [24] Sanwa EXZES Plus
20091/10 Off-Road 2WD Flag of Germany.svg Martin AchterSanwa M11X Report
20091/10 Off-Road 4WD Flag of Germany.svg Martin AchterSanwa M11X
20101/12 On-Road Flag of Japan.svg Naoto Matsukura [25] Sanwa M11X Report
20101:10 ISTC Flag of Germany.svg Marc Rheinard [26] Sanwa M11X Report
20111/8 IC Track Flag of Germany.svg Robert Pietsch [27] Sanwa EXZES-X
20111/10 Off-Road 2WD Flag of the United States.svg Ryan Cavalieri [28] Airtronics M11X Report
20111/10 Off-Road 4WD Flag of the United States.svg Ryan Cavalieri [28] Airtronics M11X
20121/12 On-Road Flag of Japan.svg Naoto Matsukura [29] Sanwa M12 Report
20121:10 ISTC Flag of the Netherlands.svg Jilles Groskamp [30] Sanwa EXZES-X Report
20121/10 IC Touring Car Flag of Thailand.svg Meen Vejrak [31] Sanwa M12 Report
20131/8 IC Track Flag of Japan.svg Tadahiko Sahashi [32] Sanwa M12
20141/8 Off-Road Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Ty Tessmann [12] Airtronics M12 Report
20141/12 On-Road Flag of Germany.svg Marc Rheinard [33] Sanwa M12 Report
20141:10 ISTC Flag of Japan.svg Naoto Matsukura [34] Sanwa M12 Report
20141/10 IC Touring Car Flag of Sweden.svg Alexander Hagberg [35] Sanwa M12 Report
20151/10 Off-Road 2WD Flag of the United States.svg Spencer Rivkin [36] Airtronics M12S Report
20151/10 Off-Road 4WD Flag of Portugal.svg Bruno Coelho [37] Sanwa M12S
20161/10 IC Touring Car Flag of Germany.svg Dominic Greiner [38] Sanwa M12
20161/12 On-Road Flag of Japan.svg Naoto Matsukura Sanwa M12S
20161:10 ISTC Flag of Germany.svg Ronald Völker  [ de ] [39] Sanwa M12S
20161/8 Off-Road Flag of Sweden.svg David Ronnefalk [40] Sanwa M12S
20171/8 IC Track Flag of Italy.svg Dario Balestri Sanwa EXZES-ZZ
20171/10 Off-Road 2WD Flag of the United States.svg Ryan Maifield [41] Sanwa M12S Report
20171/10 Off-Road 4WD Flag of the United States.svg Ryan Maifield [41] Sanwa M12S
20171/5 Touring Car Flag of Argentina.svg Santiago MeirinhosSanwa M12
20181/12 On-Road Flag of Sweden.svg Alexander Hagberg Sanwa M12S
20181:10 ISTC Flag of Portugal.svg Bruno Coelho Sanwa M12S
20181/10 IC Touring Car Flag of Japan.svg Naoto Matsukura Sanwa M12S
20181/8 Off-Road Flag of Italy.svg Davide Ongaro [42] Sanwa EXZES-ZZ
20191/10 Off-Road 4WD Flag of Portugal.svg Bruno CoelhoSanwa M17 Report
20191/8 IC Track Flag of Japan.svg Shoki Takahata [43] Sanwa M17
20201/12 On-Road Stock Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Andy MurraySanwa EXZES-ZZ
20201/12 On-Road Flag of Germany.svg Marc Rheinard [44] Sanwa M12S Report
20201/8 IC GT Flag of Germany.svg Jörn NeumannSanwa M17

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References

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