|Headquarters||Higashiōsaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan|
|Revenue||60 million yen|
|Total assets||3.1 billion yen (2013)|
Number of employees
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 are marketed as Airtronics up until early 2016, which began as an independent company producing model airplanes.
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).
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. In 1985, Sanwa diversified into the production of remote controls for domestic and industrial purposes.
F. Lee Renaud began his hobby in model aviation in 1942 with a Joe Ott kit; he began to fly competitively in 1947. While recovering from a heart attack in 1970, Renaud used his medical leave from his office-equipment company job to build radio-controlled airplanes. 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. 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. Renaud died in January 1983, and his wife Barbara took over the company.
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.
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 be itself be discontinued although will still continue under a new distributor, Serpent America, as Sanwa.
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.
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.
|1985||1/10 Off-Road Unlimited||Gil Losi, Jr.||Airtronics||Report|
|1987||1/8 IC Track||Pete Fusco||Sanwa||Report|
|1990||1/8 Off-Road||Koji Sanada||Sanwa Machine 1||Report|
|1991||1/10 Off-Road 4WD||Cliff Lett||Airtronics||Report|
|1992||1/10 PRO 10||Joel Johnson||Report|
|1992||1/8 Off-Road||Kunihiro Toge||Report|
|1993||1/10 Off-Road 2WD||Brian Kinwald||Airtronics||Report|
|1995||1/10 Off-Road 2WD||Matt Francis||Airtronics Caliber 3Ps||Report|
|1995||1/10 Off-Road 4WD||Mark Pavidis||Airtronics CS2P||Report|
|1996||1/10 PRO 10||Mike Swauger||Airtronics Caliber|
|1997||1/8 IC Track||Lamberto Collari||Sanwa|
|1997||1/10 Off-Road 2WD||Brian Kinwald||Airtronics||Report|
|1999||1/10 Off-Road 4WD||Jukka Steenari||Sanwa M8||Report|
|2000||1/10 IC On-Road 235mm Touring Car||Michael Salven||Report|
|2002||1/10 Off-Road 2WD||Matt Francis||Airtronics||Report|
|2002||1/10 Off-Road 4WD||Jukka Steenari||Sanwa||Report|
|2001||1/8 IC Track||Kenji Osaka||Sanwa|
|2003||1/8 IC Track||Lamberto Collari||Sanwa|
|2003||1/10 Off-Road 2WD||Billy Easton||Airtronics M8||Report|
|2004||1/10 ISTC||Marc Rheinard||Sanwa M8||Report|
|2004||1/10 IC Touring Car||Adrien Bertin|
|2003||1/10 Off-Road 4WD||Ryan Cavalieri||Airtronics M11||Report|
|2005||1/10 Off-Road 4WD||Ryan Cavalieri||Airtronics M11||Report|
|2005||1/8 IC Track||Lamberto Collari||Sanwa Super EXES|
|2006||1/10 IC Touring Car||Keisuke Fukuda||Report|
|2007||1/5 Touring Car||Martin Lissau||Sanwa M11|
|2007||1/8 IC Track||Lamberto Collari|
|2008||1/10 IC Touring Car||Daniele Ielasi||Report|
|2008||1/10 ISTC||Marc Rheinard||Sanwa M11||Report|
|2009||1/8 IC Track||Lamberto Collari||Sanwa EXZES Plus|
|2009||1/10 Off-Road 2WD||Martin Achter||Sanwa EXZES Plus||Report|
|2009||1/10 Off-Road 4WD||Martin Achter||Sanwa EXZES Plus||Report|
|2010||1/12 On-Road||Naoto Matsukura||Sanwa M11X||Report|
|2010||1/10 ISTC||Marc Rheinard||Sanwa M11X||Report|
|2011||1/8 IC Track||Robert Pietsch||Sanwa EXZES-X|
|2011||1/10 Off-Road 2WD||Ryan Cavalieri||Airtronics M11X||Report|
|2011||1/10 Off-Road 4WD||Ryan Cavalieri||Airtronics M11X||Report|
|2012||1/12 On-Road||Naoto Matsukura||Sanwa M12||Report|
|2012||1/10 ISTC||Jilles Groskamp||Sanwa EXZES-X||Report|
|2012||1/10 IC Touring Car||Meen Vejrak||Sanwa M12||Report|
|2013||1/8 IC Track||Tadahiko Sahashi||Sanwa M12|
|2014||1/8 Off-Road||Ty Tessmann||Airtronics M12||Report|
|2014||1/12 On-Road||Marc Rheinard||Sanwa M12||Report|
|2014||1/10 ISTC||Naoto Matsukura||Sanwa M12||Report|
|2014||1/10 IC Touring Car||Alexander Hagberg||Sanwa M12||Report|
|2015||1/10 Off-Road 2WD||Spencer Rivkin||Airtronics M12S||Report|
|2015||1/10 Off-Road 4WD||Bruno Coelho||Sanwa M12S||Report|
- "SANWA". sanwa-denshi.co.jp. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- "SANWA". sanwa-denshi.co.jp.[dead link]
- Le, Thuan (March 29, 1990). "Hobby-Kit Outfit Supplies Model of Homespun Profit". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-07-26.
- "The AMA History Project Presents: Biography of LEE RENAUD" (PDF). Academy of Model Aeronautics. April 2014.
- "BREAKING: Global Hobby Distributors' statement on Airtronics". LiveRC.com. Retrieved 2016-04-24.
- "BREAKING: Airtronics to close its doors". LiveRC.com. Retrieved 2016-04-24.
- "SANWA". sanwa-denshi.com. Retrieved 2016-05-04.
- "Transmitter Tech". Radio Control Car Action (Air Age Media): 57. January 2016.
- Denis, Jean-Marc (April 1990). "Championnat du monde TT 1/8" (in French). Rétro Modélisme.
- Blandin, Christophe (November 1991). "Championnat du Monde TT 1/10" (in French). Rétro Modélisme.
- Ogle, Mike (January 1993). "Trinity/Novak IFMAR 1/10-scale On-Road Worlds". Radio Control Car Action (Air Age Media): 64.
- "Ifmar World Championship Offroad 2014". Sanwa.
- Blandin, Christophe (1993). "Championnat du Monde de TT 1/10 en Grande Bretagne: Hirosaka et Kinwald les Maitres" (PDF). Auto8 (in French): 94.[dead link]
- Radio Control Car Action, December 1995
- Radio Control Car Action, December 1996
- "IFMAR Off-Road Worlds: Racing Action in Finland!" (PDF). Radio Control Car Action (Air Age Media): 59. November 1999.
- "Masami Hirosaka (1/12) et Marc Rheinard (Touring) CHAMPIONS DU MONDE 2004!" (in French). RC Infos.
- "CM 1/10 200mm - Victoire d'Adrien". Yome3000.com.
- Troyon, Lionel (August 2005). "Championnats du Monde 1/10 Off Road 2WD et 4WD Collegno (Italie)". RC Infos.
- "2006 IFMAR 200mm Worlds – Placings After Finals". Morac-Graz.at. September 17, 2006.
- "LRP Wins IFMAR World Championship!!". LRP.
- "Lamberto Collari Wins 1/8th Onroad WC with LRP!". LRP.
- "LRP successful at the IFMAR 1/12 WC!". LRP. 2010-07-02.
- "LRP SXX TC Spec Version2 and Sanwa M11X – the most used technology at the WC in Germany!". LRP. 2010-07-07.
- "Robert Pietsch takes the WC title with LRP and Sanwa!". LRP. 2011-06-08.
- "Double World Champions – Ryan Cavalieri and LRP unbeatable!". LRP. 2011-08-04.
- "IFMAR EP 1/12 World Championship 2012". Sanwa.
- "IFMAR 1/10 EP World Championship Result". Sanwa.
- "Chassis Focus – Meen Vejrak". Red RC. November 2012.
- "2013 IFMAR 1/8 RACING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP". Sanwa.
- "IFMAR 1/12th WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2014". Sanwa.
- "IFMAR ISTC 1/10 EP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2014". Sanwa.
- "IFMAR 1/10 IC Touring Car WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2014". Sanwa.
- "IFMAR EP OFFROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (2WD)". sanwa-denshi.com. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- "IFMAR EP OFFROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (4WD)". sanwa-denshi.com. Retrieved 27 November 2015.