New Recorders Boost In-Flight Data Capacity
ARLINGTON, Virginia — Aircraft component manufacturer Curtiss-Wright has introduced two new flight recorders that feature next-generation capabilities for modern aircraft.
The company’s defense arm recently announced the release of a new cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder — Fortress CVR-25 and Fortress FDR-25, respectively — as the latest additions to the company’s Fortress line of flight recorders.
Curtiss-Wright’s flight recorders and crash-protected memory systems are outfitted on several U.S. military aircraft, such as the Army’s UH-60M Black Hawk, the Navy’s MH-60S Seahawk and more.
The new systems can record for at least 25 hours, complying with the latest standard requirements from the Federal Aviation Administration and European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment, said Steve Leaper, product line manager for flight recorders at Curtiss-Wright.
“Our Fortress range of recorders allows us to address commercial [and] defense fixed-wing aircraft, rotorcraft and [unmanned aerial vehicles] applications — wherever they may be,” he said.
The Fortress CVR-25 provides four channels of cockpit voice recording and one channel of data link recording, according to a Curtiss-Wright press release. The Fortress FDR-25 can record up to 3,500 hours of data before the oldest data is overwritten, the release said.
The recorders can be used on either new aircraft or as an update on older platforms that need to meet the latest standards. In addition, the systems are available individually or as a combined voice and data recorder — beneficial for aircraft with limited space, Leaper said.
Based on an aircraft’s needs, the recorders can also be retrofitted with additional capabilities like image recording, data link recording and more, Leaper said. That can cut costs for operators.
“Buying the recorder is just one small part, potentially, of the cost of implementing an upgrade or a new recording system,” Leaper said. “If you have to change the aircraft installation, then that’s usually far more expensive than just buying the recorder.”
Both recorders allow for quick access and recovery of data, a key feature as modern aircraft grow increasingly data-centric, said Curtiss-Wright Vice President Chris Thomson.
“Typically, flight recorders where if there was an accident or an incident, you can find out what the cause of that was and then make corrective actions to make sure that incident or accident didn’t repeat itself,” Thomson said. “But with the richness of data now in modern military and commercial aircraft, you’re able to do more with that data.”
This could result in improved maintenance for the aircraft based on data rather than manuals, as well as other operational and safety measures informed by data, he added.