Curtiss-Wright Developing Next Generation Voice and Data Recorders

Curtiss-Wright's Fortress Crash Survivable Recorder is designed for use on defense and commercial aircraft and has received UK CAA TSO certification By Defense Advancement / 24 Jan 2023
Cockpit voice recorder Curtiss Wright
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Curtiss Wright’s Defense Solutions division has unveiled a Cockpit Voice and Flight Data Recorder (CVFDR) integrating a 25-hour Cockpit Voice/Data Recording with data acquisition, a recorder independent power supply (RIPS) and a quick access recorder (QAR) all in a single compact and lightweight unit, the system is believed to be an industry first.

The company’s Fortress Crash Survivable Recorder (Fortress CSR) is engineered for defense and commercial applications, and designed to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Technical Standard Order (TSO)-C155b. According to Curtiss Wright, the 200-hour SD card-based integrated QAR function eliminates the need for a separate aircraft LRU, saving system power, weight, and cost while increasing system reliability. The QAR function also supports flight data recording, providing the operator with the ability to transfer data to a ground station so that data can be rapidly analyzed by the Military Flight Operations Quality Assurance (MFOQA) ground station analysis software.

The Fortress CSR surpasses the requirements of the 2021 EASA minimum 25-hour cockpit voice-recording mandate (EUROCAE Class 6) for aircraft weighing over 27,000 kilograms. With Curtiss-Wright’s Fortress technology, the new CVFDR features user configurable data acquisition and is ideal for demanding flight data monitoring applications including incident event investigation, crash investigation, structural loads analysis, and safety initiatives such as the U.S. Air Force’s MFOQA. It is also believed to be well suited for integrating flight data recording capabilities onto aircraft where none is currently fitted.

Initially developed for use on the T-6 Texan ll trainer aircraft used by the US Navy and Air Force, the Fortress CSR provides an easily configurable aircraft/recorder interface that enables the Fortress CSR to be ported across multiple platforms.

Chris Wiltsey, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions division, said: “Curtiss-Wright continues to lead the industry in bringing extended operation and greater survivability for flight recorders to the military aircraft market, supporting critical flight data monitoring applications such as incident event investigation, crash investigation, structural loads analysis, and MFOQA. Our new Fortress crash survivable recorder 25-hour combined cockpit voice and flight data recorder expands the capabilities of a traditional flight recorder while significantly reducing size, weight, and power requirements. It builds on our long legacy of delivering cost-effective, lightweight and compact flight recorders that meet or exceed the latest regulations.”

The Fortress CSR is seen as a form-fit-function upgrade to the existing 1/2 ATR short flight recording system utilized on the T -6 Texan ll. It protects parametric flight data and 3 channels of voice communications and 1 channel ambient cockpit sound to crash conditions in accordance with the ED-112A standard. In addition to serving as a combined CVR/FDR flight recorder, Fortress CSR also provides data acquisition and real time data processing used for post-flight analysis. Supported by the PGS Analysis ground replay system, the Fortress CSR is currently used in flight safety and pilot training programs, including the U.S. Air Force’s MFOQA, and applications such as Aircraft Structural Integrity (ASIP) and Aircraft Safety Program (ASAP).

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