Rockwell Standard Corporation
North American Rockwell Corp
Rockwell International Corp
In 1919, Colonel W.R. Rockwell reorganised a bankrupt axle company in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Following the Colonel's development of the first double reduction axles for heavy-duty vehicles, Timken-Detroit Axle company acquired his axle company in 1928.
In 1953, Timken-Detroit merged with Standard Steel Spring Company to form Rockwell Spring and Axle Company. In 1958, the name of the company was changed to Rockwell-Standard Corporation. Rockwell-Standard embarked on a plan of diversification in the late 1950s and 60s and by 1967, it was a major independent producer of a wide-range of automotive components.
In 1965 Rockwell-Standard acquired Snow Aeronautical, continuing to produce agricultural aircraft at Olney as Snow Commanders (as division of Aero Commander), and acquired Intermountain Manufacturing Company (IMCO) 1966. Single-engined Model 112 delivered to customers from 1972. Low-wing twin-engined Rockwell Commander 700 produced jointly with Fuji in Japan. Thrush Commander was very notable specially designed agricultural aircraft. The entire Thrush Commander range sold to Ayres Corp and then became known by the Ayres name. Shrike Commander 500S terminated 1980 but Commander Jetprops continued by Gulfstream American Corporation.
In 1967, Rockwell-Standard Corporation and North American Aviation merged to create the North American Rockwell Corporation.
Following company reorganization, the former Aero Commander division of Rockwell became part of NAR, and its Shrike, Commander 685 and Turbo Hawk Commander twin-engined business aircraft were marketed under the new company name, together with Quail, Sparrow, Snipe and Thrush Commander agricultural aircraft, and the Darter and Lark Commander single-engined lightplanes.
The Model 112 Commander lightplane and B-1 swing-wing supersonic bomber projects were started before the company name was changed to Rockwell International in 1973.
In 1973 North American Rockwell and Rockwell Manufacturing Company merged to become Rockwell International Corporation. Aircraft production after the 1967 merger included the Aero Commander line of single and twin-engine aircraft, the turboprop OV-10 Bronco armed reconnaissance aircraft, T-2 Buckeye jet trainer, B-1B Lancer supersonic swing-wing bomber, and the Sabreliner executive and light jet transport. Company's aerospace and defence units purchased by the Boeing Company on December 6,1996, becoming Boeing North American. Similarly, Rockwell Australia became Boeing Australia Ltd.
In 1977 Rockwell International sold its agricultural-airplane operation to the Ayres Corporation of Albany, Georgia. The new owners will continue to manufacture the Models 600 and 800 Thrush Commanders. Fred Ayres, who developed the Turbo Thrush PT6 retrofit, plans to begin producing that airplane at his new plant.
1984: Sabreliner Corporation, a new company formed to acquire the former Sabreliner Division of Rockwell International.