Curtiss-Wright Corporation and Honeywell have partnered to develop a new way for airlines to monitor and analyze flight data, thus decreasing aircraft downtime through predictive maintenance and, in the case of an emergency, helping with the subsequent investigation..
The companies recently signed an agreement to develop the next generation of mandate-compliant voice and data recorders. commonly known as “black boxes.” As part of the new agreement, Curtiss-Wright will be the exclusive supplier for Honeywell’s next-generation recorders for the air transport and business aviation markets. Curtiss-Wright officials John Wranovics and Christopher Thomson were at MRO Americas in Atlanta to spread the word about the partnership and to talk about the advantages of using real-time connectivity in the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and Flight Data Recorder (FDR) for the commercial airline, cargo transport and business jet markets.
The two companies will jointly develop the hardware for the new black boxes, and Honeywell will modernize the software capabilities for easier access to real-time data during flight. This will provide aircraft owners, operators and manufacturers with new voice and flight data recording options. Operators will also benefit from real-time data streaming and cloud-upload capabilities, enabled by Honeywell’s Connected Aircraft software, which allows for the swift and remote retrieval of data from the aircraft for storage or analysis.
“Honeywell and Curtiss-Wright have long been pioneers and innovators of crash protected recorders, providing flight data recorders to the industry for over 50 years,” said David C. Adams, Chairman and CEO of Curtiss-Wright Corporation. “Working together, we will take flight data recorder connectivity and performance to new heights, with extended operation and greater survivability. Bringing our combined experience to the marketplace will generate financial, safety and operational benefits for years to come.”
As a source of critical aircraft data, black boxes passively collect large amounts of information from multiple sources during each flight. This ensures that, in the event of an accident, investigators can use the data to learn more about the chain of events leading up to it. This new recorder will serve as a “Black Box in the Sky,” meaning owners, operators and manufacturers will have the option to access the data at all times.
“The importance of reliable Cockpit Voice and Flight Data Recorders cannot be overstated. That’s why we are working alongside Curtiss-Wright to design and develop the next generation of recorders that leverages our full hardware and software expertise to meet the 25-hour requirement, to identify the right information and make it available to airline operators when it’s most needed,” said Ben Driggs, president, Services & Connectivity, at Honeywell Aerospace.
The new CVR and FDR, based on Curtiss-Wright’s compact, lightweight Fortress flight data recorder technology, will surpass the requirements of the upcoming 2021 European Aviation Safety Agency minimum 25-hour cockpit voice recording mandate. Along with added connectivity, the next-generation recorders provide an easy upgrade that saves installation time and lowers costs due to their design as form-fit replacements for Honeywell’s HFR-5 series cockpit voice and flight data recorders. Curtiss-Wright recently certified its Fortress recorder, a 25-hour CVR/FDR recorder that is used as the foundation for the new Honeywell Connected Recorder-25 or HCR-25.