Curtiss-Wright Fortress Compact, Lightweight Flight Data Recorders Receive ETSO Approval from EASA

Curtiss-Wright Fortress Compact, Lightweight Flight Data Recorders Receive ETSO Approval from EASA
Compact, lightweight flight data recorders believed to be first certified to rigorous flight safety standard

ASHBURN, Va. – February 13, 2019 – Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division today announced has been granted European Technical Standard Order (ETSO) approval by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its Fortress™ family of flight data recorders, commonly referred to as “black boxes.” The Fortress family is the newest range of flight data recorders on the market and includes combination Cockpit Voice Recorders (CVR) and Flight Data Recorders (FDR) that will surpass the requirements of the upcoming 2021 EASA minimum 25-hour cockpit voice recording mandate. These highly functional units deliver longer recording time, supporting the recently introduced EUROCAE classes 4, 5, and 6 Cockpit Voice Recorders (CVR). Believed to be the industry’s first to meet the demanding requirements of EUROCAE ED-112A, these CVR/FDRs enable the aircraft data to be used for more efficient operations, allowing for additional predictive maintenance and real-time playback of data and voice communications. The compact and lightweight Fortress product line is designed to meet all current and some anticipated regulations. The EASA certifications include ETSO-C123c, ETSO-C124c, ETSO-C176a, and ETSO-C177a.

The Fortress range combines a Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), Flight Data Recorder (FDR), DataLink Recorder (DLR), and Airborne Image Recorder (AIR) in a single unit and can be rapidly modified to meet customization requirements for particular aircraft needs. The recorder can support expansion, making it easier and more cost-effective to add new functionality within the unit, such as MIL-STD-1553 data links, integrated acquisition and health, and usage monitoring systems (HUMS), all while reducing aircraft LRU count and overall system weight.

“We are excited to announce that our Fortress family of recorders, the most advanced lightweight and functional flight recorder available today, has been granted ETSO approval,” said Lynn Bamford, Senior Vice President, and General Manager, Defense Solutions division. “We are the first supplier to meet flight recorder extended operational requirements and increased crash survivability test requirements included in ED-112A, furthering our commitment to helping aircraft meet the latest regulations while using the best technology to add more functionality in less space and cost for new and older aircraft”.

About Fortress Recorders:

At under 8.5 lbs. including a 90 day ULB, the new Fortress recorders weigh less than early generation solid-state recorder alternatives, which helps to significantly reduce fuel cost savings. This breakthrough in weight reduction results from Curtiss-Wright’s decades of expertise in optimizing the crash recorder electronics, materials, and manufacturing process. The recorder systems also support dual-redundant CVR/FDR installation to mitigate the risk of mandatory grounding in case of recorder failure.

Curtiss-Wright has a long heritage in designing and manufacturing flight data recorders. Developed by the originator of the first combined cockpit voice/flight data recorder, these innovative recorders meet all current and anticipated EUROCAE ED-112A, FAA TSO, and EASA ETSO requirements. The Fortress family of recorders is ideal for a wide range of aircraft platforms, including helicopters, airliners, UAVs, executive and military aircraft. Housed in a compact rugged unit, the new recorders are hard-mountable for fast, easy installation.


About Curtiss-Wright Corporation


Curtiss-Wright Corporation is a global innovative company that delivers highly engineered, critical function products and services to the commercial, industrial, defense and energy markets. Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of providing reliable solutions through trusted customer relationships. The company employs approximately 8,600 people worldwide. For more information, visit


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