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Honeywell to Connect 'Black Boxes' for Aviation Safety

Honeywell to Connect 'Black Boxes' for Aviation Safety

So-called “black boxes” often take center stage in an aircraft accident investigation and with good reason. The boxes, which actually are painted orange to make them easier to spot, record information essential to determining the cause of an incident and ultimately improving the safety of flight.

Without question safety is the No. 1 priority for everyone in the aviation industry. Aircraft manufacturers, government regulators, airlines, cargo carriers, business aircraft operators and equipment manufacturers like Honeywell constantly strive to make flying as safe as humanly possible.

Safety technologies continue to evolve and I’m proud to say that my company is at the forefront in developing safety innovations that help flight crews avoid hazards on the ground and in the air – innovations that save countless lives every year.

 

Honeywell is already the leading producer of black boxes, which are actually called Flight Data Recorders and Cockpit Voice Recorders. Now we’re working with Curtiss-Wright to take these critical technologies to the next level using our unique expertise in real-time connected aerospace solutions.

Together we’re developing the Honeywell Connected Recorder (HCR-25), which will include several breakthrough innovations and will meet the new European Aviation Safety Agency 25-hour cockpit voice recording mandate. The new recorder will meet EASA requirements, which will take effect in 2021.

The HCR-25 is actually a “black box in the sky,” which can provide airlines and other users with continuous access to critical flight data and cockpit voice information, even when the aircraft is in flight. This is possible thanks to a secure satellite communications system connection that provides a 24/7 link between the aircraft and a data center on the ground.

In case of an incident the data can be quickly accessed by the airlines and investigators, who no longer will need to wait for the recorders to be found. Since the key information is available in near-real time, investigators will be able to locate the site almost immediately and will have faster access to information that will help them understand the events leading up to the accident.

Airlines and other operators also will be able to use the data the HCR-25 collects for other purposes, such as improving operational and maintenance efficiency. The recorder collects data on thousands of variables including fuel levels, altitude, engine performance, temperature, direction and speed. With the new Honeywell recorder, airlines and other operators will have a valuable tool to improve performance and reduce aircraft downtime.

Black boxes have been around for more than 60 years. In addition to helping us understand “what happened,” they’ve led to important improvements in aircraft safety. Now, with the “black box in the sky,” we’re reinventing recorder technology to make critical information available when it’s most needed.

Borka Vlaci
Director of Marketing and Product Management
Borka Vlacic is Director of Marketing and Product Management for Satellite Communications at Honeywell Aerospace.

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