Curtiss-Wright, Honeywell Achieve EASA Certification on Connected Cockpit Voice Recorder

Curtiss Wright and Honeywell Aerospace have achieved EASA technical standard order certification on their 25-hour cockpit voice recorder, the HCR-25. (Honeywell Aerospace)

Curtiss-Wright Corp. and Honeywell Aerospace received a technical standard order (TSO) certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for their jointly developed cockpit voice recorder (CVR), the Honeywell Connected Recorder-25 (HCR-25).

HCR-25 is the result of a 2019 agreement between Curtiss Wright and Honeywell Aerospace to develop a line of cockpit voice and flight data recorders capable of real-time data streaming and cloud upload functionality. The recorder meets EASA’s 2021 regulations requiring an extension of the minimum transmission times for Cockpit Voice Recorders (CVRs), Underwater Locating Devices (ULDs), and aircraft localization.

The regulation requires aircraft with a Maximum Certified Take-Off Mass (MCTOM) of more than 27,000 kg (60,000 lbs.) to feature a minimum recording duration of 25 hours.

Honeywell describes the data recorder as a “Black Box in the Sky,” where “owners, operators, and manufacturers can access the data during the flight, resulting in the potential for better maintenance predictability and operational insight through data analytics.”

“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, and identify the right information and make it available to accident investigation agencies when it’s most needed,” Amanda King, vice president and general manager, Aerospace Connected Secure Solutions, Honeywell Connected Enterprise, said in a Jan. 19 press release.

Going beyond meeting EASA’s 25-hour CVR recording requirement, both companies also want operators to be able to access the data stored on the new FDR. Both the data and voice recorders can also serve as replacements to Honeywell’s existing HFR-5 series voice and data recorders. HCR-25 weights 4.3 kg (9.5 lbs.) and includes a 90-day-underwater locator beacon.

“With the new regulatory requirement, we saw an opportunity to evolve our recorder technology to not only meet the conditions of governing agencies but also make this product more powerful and better connected, providing aircraft operators with another source of data collection that can be used to improve aircraft maintenance and performance,” King said.

Airlines that require “Class 6” CVRs are the target market for Honeywell and Curtiss Wright with the new EASA certification. According to Curtiss Wright, the CVR is based on their Fortress FDR technology that features data link and image recording capabilities. The HCR-25 also has an expansion slot, internal data collection card, and remote USB interface so that data from the recorder can be downloaded directly to a laptop or other device.

As part of the development of the new recorders, Honeywell plans to offer the HCR-25 in several variants, including as a standalone CVR, as a standalone FDR, or as a combined voice and flight data recorder.

“Both companies are pioneers and innovators of crash-protected recorders, providing flight recorders to the industry for over 60 years,” Lynn M. Bamford, President and CEO of Curtiss-Wright Corp., said in the Honeywell release. “Working together, we will take flight recorder connectivity and performance to new heights, with extended operation and greater survivability.”

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