MarathonNorco Aerospace traces its origin to Marathon Battery Company (Marathon), which was incorporated in 1923. Marathon began producing carbon-zinc dry batteries and cells. During World War II and the Korean War, the company was an important supplier of military batteries and won the coveted Army and Navy “E” award for its excellence. Marathon was given the “E” award for its continued effort in the development of new or improved battery products.
In 1948, the company initiated development of a rechargeable, sintered plate nickel-cadmium battery. In 1949, Marathon became the first company in the United States to manufacture sealed nickel-cadmium batteries.
In 1952, Marathon began to produce nickel-cadmium batteries for the Atomic Energy Commission and for the United States Army Nike Missile program. After producing millions of ampere-hours of batteries for missiles, the company began to design batteries to meet stringent aircraft applications.
After testing and acceptance by the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command, nickel-cadmium batteries were adopted for the B-47 bomber fleet. The introduction of other models for military, commercial, and corporate aircraft rapidly made Marathon's batteries the industry leader.
Marathon lead the way with sealed batteries that became the first to power satellites and were used on such projects as Explorer, Pioneer, Midas, Tiros, Transit, Courier, Greb, Oso, Relay, Syncom, Nimbus, Alouette and Isis. Marathon powered spacecraft have set longevity records for continuous, successful operation.
During the mid-1960’s a great deal of research and development work was done to develop batteries with greater capacity per unit of volume and weight than the traditional carbon-zinc battery. After testing, the United States Army Signal Corps had indicated that the magnesium-manganese dioxide dry battery had excellent shelf life characteristics at an elevated-temperature. A contract was negotiated with the government to produce BA-4386 batteries. In 1968 Marathon began the production of the BA-4386 for use as the power source in the PRC-25 and PRC-77 transceiver sets.
Marathon Battery continued to manufacture carbon-zinc batteries at Wausau, Wisconsin, magnesium batteries in St. Paul, Minnesota, vented and sealed nickel-cadmium batteries at Cold Spring and Roe Park, New York. But Marathon was rapidly outgrowing its production facilities as new markets developed.
In 1971, the company had consolidated all of its operations in a modern 200,000 square foot (18,000 square meters) manufacturing plant in Waco, Texas, where the company continued manufacturing nickel-cadmium batteries, magnesium batteries and carbon-zinc batteries.
In 1981, Marathon acquired Flite-Tronics, a California based inverter manufacturer, and move the entire electronics manufacturing operation to Waco, TX. Flite-Tronics offered more than 75 models of static inverters and power conversion devices. With the combined operations, Marathon's name changed from Marathon Battery Company to Marathon Power Technologies Company.
In 2000 Marathon Power Technologies Company acquired Christie Electric Corp. Christie designs and manufactures equipment to support the direct current (DC) power market. This includes battery chargers/analyzers as well as industrial AC to DC power supplies.
The charger/analyzer product line consists of the CASP® and RF80 designs. The CASP (charger-analyzer-sequencer-power supply) is a versatile, user-friendly, microprocessor-based, precision instrument for supporting rechargeable batteries of all types. CASP is sold to military, medical, aviation, professional video, industrial and OEM customers. Christie's RF80 charger/analyzer supports vented nickel-cadmium and sealed or vented lead-acid aircraft batteries. The RF80-K is the industry standard, used by the US Air Force as well as many major airlines around the world. As an aid to effective aircraft battery maintenance, the RF80-K is without peer.
In 2003 Marathon Power Technologies Company acquired Norco, Inc., a manufacturer of mechanical apparatus products. Norco, Inc. designed and developed a wide range of custom engineered hold open rods and specialty mechanical devices. Additionally, it maintains a line of specialty power transmission products. The consolidation brought the two companies together in Waco, TX., with the new name of MarathonNorco Aerospace, Inc.
In 2006, Flite-Tronics joined Avionic Instruments, LLC in Avenel, New Jersey. Avionic Instruments is now manufacturing and supporting the Flite-Tronics power conversion product line.
Today, MarathonNorco Aerospace, Inc. continues to manufacture the Micro Maintenance () and Superpower batteries, Christie charger/analyzers, mechanical and coupling devices from its Waco facility.
MarathonNorco Aerospace is part of TransDigm's family of companies. TransDigm Inc., is a leading global designer, producer and supplier of highly engineered aircraft components for use on nearly all commercial and military aircraft in service today.