Flight Data Recorders (FDR) – popularly referred to as an aircraft’s “black box” – typically store important data to crash-protected memory. These are often combined with Cockpit Voice Recorders (CVR) that log pilot and cockpit audio. The memory used to store this data is encased in layers of protective materials – orange paint (ease of visual location), stainless steel or titanium (to withstand shock) and high-temperature insulation (to withstand heat). This helps to ensure that in the event of an accident, data pertaining to the aircraft’s performance and pilot’s actions are available for investigators to analyze. FDRs began entering service on civil aircraft in the 1960s. Curtiss-Wright has been manufacturing FDRs since 1957 and introduced the world’s first combined FDR/CVR in 1986.
The Enhanced Multi-Purpose Flight Recorder (EMPFR) is another example of Curtiss-Wright’s highly versatile recorders. The compact EMPFR, designed for rotary wing or small/medium aircraft, provides on-aircraft downloads in under two minutes and can provide remote diagnostics and fault reporting when networked directly to a remote operational base.
The Fortress recorder is fully ED-112A compliant and uses a modular architecture to rapidly accommodate custom interfaces with a lower time, cost and risk overhead than traditional designs. This flexibility also facilitates many optional features such as data encryption, SATCOM interface, wireless download and additional parameter acquisition from ARINC 429, discrete and analog interfaces.