Curtiss-Wright Launches Ultra-Lightweight Crash Protected Recorders

By Staff Writer | March 3, 2015
Send Feedback

HAI Heli-Expo 2015 Orlando, Fla. - Curtiss-Wright Corporation’s (NYSE: CW) Defense Solutions division today announced a new family of ultra-lightweight recorders for cockpit image, voice and flight data. At only 5.7 lbs., the new Fortress recorders weigh ~50% less than early generation solid state recorders alternatives, which helps to significantly reduce fuel cost savings (for example, it’s estimated that each additional kg on a 150-seat airliner typically adds a $120 burden in fuel usage for every 4,500 flight hours). This breakthrough in weight reduction results from Curtiss-Wright’s decades of expertise in optimizing the crash recorder electronics, materials and manufacturing process. The recorders also feature dual-redundant CVR/FDR to mitigate the risk of mandatory grounding in case of recorder failure.

Developed by Defense Solutions’ Avionics & Electronics group, the originator of the first combined cockpit voice/flight data recorder, these innovative crash recorders meet all current and anticipated EUROCAE ED-112A, FAA TSO and EASA ETSO requirements. With support for modular plug-in cards, the Fortress family of crash recorders is ideal for a wide range of aircraft platforms, including helicopters, airliners, executive jets, and military combat and fast jets. Housed in a compact rugged unit, the new crash recorders are hard-mountable for fast, easy installation.  

To maximize flexibility, each Fortress recorder can be configured as either an FDR or CVR, or as a combined unit. The Fortress crash recorder family includes six standard variant configurations, each optimized for specific market segments: 

  • Fortress-ARINC757: Standard CVR/FDR/Datalink/CVFDR
  • Fortress-ARINC767: ARINC664P7 Flight Critical Ethernet
  • Fortress-DAFR: Data Acquisition & Flight Recorder
  • Fortress-CSMU: Crash Survivable Memory Unit
  • Fortress-MIL: MIL-STD-1553 Data Bus
  • Fortress-Ethernet: 100BASE-TX UDP; 1588PTP

"We are proud to introduce our Fortress ultra-light crash recorders, which we believe establish a whole new class of highly integrated, SWaP-C optimized cockpit image, voice and flight data recorders and help to deliver fuel savings by significantly cutting overall unit weight,” said Lynn Bamford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Defense Solutions. “Thanks to their modular plug-in card design, our new recorders enable us to meet custom customer needs quickly, eliminating the need to undergo the expensive requalification of the entire unit which can add cost and risk.”

Designed with flexibility in mind, the recorders also support many optional features such as data encryption, SATCOM interface, wireless download and additional parameter acquisition from ARINC 429, discrete and analog interfaces. They also feature an optional integrated Recorder Independent Power Supply (RIPS).

Receive the latest rotorcraft news right to your inbox