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Curtiss-Wright to upgrade US T-6 Texan II trainer aircraft flight recorder system


Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division, a proven leading supplier of rugged avionics solutions, today announced that it was selected by Scientific Research Corporation (SRC) to provide a version of its industry-leading Fortress flight recorder system to upgrade the T-6 Texan II trainer aircraft used by the U.S. Air Force and Navy.

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Curtiss Wright to upgrade US T 6 Texan II trainer aircraft flight recorder system The T-6A Texan II is a single-engine, two-seat primary trainer designed to train Joint Primary Pilot Training, or JPPT, students in basic flying skills common to US Air Force and Navy pilots (Picture source: US Air Force)


Under the agreement, Curtiss-Wright is providing SRC with a new variant of the Fortress CVR25, developed for use on military fixed wing and rotorcraft airborne platforms. The Fortress CVR25 combines a CVR, FDR, integrated data acquisition, and an independent power supply in a single lightweight, compact unit. The Fortress recorder’s ability to acquire additional data as customer needs evolve has helped further establish Curtiss-Wright as one of the leading suppliers of modern flight data recorders. Under the contract, shipments began in Q1 2021 and are scheduled to continue through the first half of 2023.

"We are very proud to have been selected by Scientific Research Corporation to provide our innovative Fortress cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder to upgrade the important T-6 Texan II trainer used by the U.S. Air Force and Navy,” said Chris Wiltsey, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Defense Solutions. “SRC and Curtiss Wright intend to further explore other flight recorder applications within the DoD where our unique experience can assist in liberating the benefits of modern day flight recorder technology for the military aircraft market.”

Developing the Next Generation of Voice and Data Recorders
The custom Fortress recorder designed for SRC features a built-in quick access recorder that supports a removable solid-state drive (SSD) memory module. At under 11.5 lb (5.25 kg), including a 90-day underwater locator beacon (ULB) designed to TSO-C121B with integral battery to DO-227A, Fortress provides significantly more functionality and capability than the current system, with a lower ship set weight, providing operators with more data in support of training and long term operational objectives for the aircraft.

The recorder, which is a form-fit-function upgrade to the existing flight recording system on the T-6 Texan II, protects parametric flight data and 3 channels of voice communications to crash conditions in accordance with ED-112A. In addition to serving as a combined CVR/FDR flight recorder, Fortress will also support data acquisition and real time data processing, such as High-G event detection, used to produce the data for post-flight analysis. The data will also be used in flight safety and pilot training programs, including the U.S. Air Force’s Military Flight Operations Quality Assurance (MFOQA), Aircraft Structural Integrity (ASIP) and Aircraft Safety Program (ASAP) programs.

About Fortress Recorders
The compact and lightweight Fortress product line is designed to meet all current and anticipated regulations. Fortress CVR/FDRs enable aircraft data to be used for more efficient operations, allowing for additional predictive maintenance (PM) and real-time playback of data, and potentially voice communications and image data should regulations permit. The innovative recorders provide an ideal commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)-based solution for post-test operational use, and include support for PM, health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS), condition based maintenance (CBM), and other data monitoring applications.

The Fortress range can be rapidly modified to meet customization requirements for particular aircraft needs. The recorder’s support for expansion, makes it easier and more cost-effective to add new functionality within the unit, such as MIL-STD-1553 data links, varied integrated acquisition and data processing, all while reducing aircraft line replaceable unit (LRU) count and overall system weight.

Curtiss-Wright designs and manufactures the flight recorder products covered by this agreement at its Bournemouth, UK facility. The products are being shipped to Scientific Research Corporation, in Atlanta, Georgia.