Avionics News January 2016 - 46
P A T R I C I A
L U E B K E
Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics
ong-time avionics industry veterans will recognize the significance of Todd Winter's birthplace:
Boonton, New Jersey. It was the headquarters of Aircraft Radio Control, one of the nation's pioneering avionics companies that was later acquired by Cessna. His father worked at ARC on some of the
first autopilot systems for general aviation.
"I was born right into the industry," Winter said. "I was probably hooked from the start."
Soon after, his father was lured away by a company that built a key component for autopilots, and the family moved to Houston, Texas. The owner of the company was a general aviation pilot who transported the
Winter family from Boonton to Houston in his Cessna 310.
"All of our furniture went by truck, and for a 4-year old boy, the flight was quite the experience," Winter
said. "I still remember it."
His family lived in an interesting neighborhood, right across the street from NASA. "My
neighbors and friends and their dads all worked in mission control or their dads
were astronauts - the McDivitts, the
Aldrins, the Cunninghams and
quite a few others." One friend
was Buzz Aldrin's son, Andy,
who bragged not about his
father being one of the first men
on the moon, but rather how his
dad had actually placed a phone
call home from a Learjet.
"It was an interesting place to grow
up," Winter said. His father, also a pilot, would
take them on trips to Mexico and to a family
This 1941 Staggerwing, and a Bonanza,
are corporate aircraft owned by
beach house in Bolivar, Texas, near Galveston,
Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics.
where they could land on the beach and taxi to the