Crash Recorder Interview with Steve Leaper

Crash Recorder Interview with Steve Leaper

Crash-protected recorders have been used for decades to help investigators to determine what occurred during an accident involving an aircraft.

Curtiss-Wright has been designing and manufacturing crash-protected recorders since the 1950s.

In this interview, Steve Leaper, product manager for flight recorders, talks about the history and future of crash-protected recorders.

Video Transcript

Curtiss-Wright has been manufacturing flight data recorders since 1952. We introduced a wire-based recorder at that time and very limited data acquisition. Through the years we’ve produced a number of different types of recorders as more and more data is required, and we’re now looking at somewhere in the region of 48GB of information stored within a crash-protected memory environment.

The previous generation multi-purpose flight recorder which has been in the marketplace for the last ten years provides voice and data recording capability only. The Fortress recorder exceeds that and includes datalink recording which is the digital messages from ground to aircrew, and it also includes image recording. Fortress recorder provides a modular frontend so that we can change from an ARINC 717 interface to ARINC 429, 664, or MIL-STD-1553.

All the recorders are designed to be combined recorders, so that’s voice and data, datalink and image – we can sub-equip so that we provide just a voice or a data recorder. We can put two voice recorders, two data recorders in a smaller combined box onto a larger platform, saving equipment cost, installation time, logistics costs, etc. The Fortress recorder is implementing a 1Gb Ethernet interface so that any flight data that is recorded can be downloaded within 10 seconds so you’re transferring a quick access recorder type function into a flight recorder. So that gives it duel functionality.