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A flight recorder is an electronic recording device placed in an aircraft for the purpose of facilitating the investigation of aviation accidents and incidents.
Flight recorders are also known by the misnomer black box —they are in fact bright orange to aid in their recovery after accidents. There are two different flight recorder devices: The two devices may be combined in a single unit.
Together, the FDR and CVR give an accurate testimony, narrating eurocaf aircraft’s flight history, to assist in any eurlcae investigation. The two flight recorders are required by international regulation, overseen by the International Civil Aviation Organizationto be capable of surviving the conditions likely to be encountered in a severe aircraft accident.
They have been a mandatory requirement in commercial aircraft in the United States since The latent image was made by a thin ray of light deviated by a mirror tilted according to the magnitude of the data to record altitude, speed, etc.
This company went on to become a major supplier of data recorders, used not only aboard aircraft but also trains and other vehicles. SFIM is today part of the Safran group and is still present on the flight recorder market.
The advantage of the film technology was that it could be easily developed afterwards and provides a durable, visual feedback of the flight parameters euurocae needing any playback device. On the other hand, unlike magnetic tapes or later flash memory-based technology, a photographic film cannot be erased and recycled, and so it must be changed periodically.
As such, this technology was reserved for one-shot uses, mostly during planned test flights; and it was not mounted aboard civilian aircraft during routine commercial eurocaw. Also, the cockpit conversation was not recorded. Len Harrison and Vic Husband developed a unit that could withstand a crash eugocae fire to keep the flight data intact. This unit was developed at Farnborough for the Ministry of Aircraft Production. This unit was the forerunner of today’s recorders being able to withstand conditions that aircrew could not.
The first modern flight recorder, called “Mata Hari”, was created in by Finnish aviation engineer Veijo Hietala.
This black high-tech mechanical box was able to record all important details during test flights of fighter aircraft that the Finnish army repaired or built in its main aviation factory in TampereFinland. Inwhile working at the Aeronautical Research Laboratories ARL of the Defence Science and Technology Organisationin Melbourne Australian research scientist David Warren conceived a device that would record not euorcae the instrument readings, but also the ed-112 in the cockpit.
The ARL assigned an engineering team to help Warren develop the prototype to airborne stage. The team, consisting of electronics engineers Lane Eurofae, Wally Boswell and Ken Fraser, developed a working design that incorporated a fire-resistant and shockproof case, a reliable system ekrocae encoding and recording aircraft instrument readings and voice on one wire, and a ground-based decoding device.
The units were redesigned in and relocated at the rear of aircraft to increase the probability of successful data retrieval after a crash. The original device was known as the “General Mills Flight Recorder”.
The benefits of the flight recorder and the coding apparatus for flight recorders were outlined by Ryan in his study entitled “Economies in Airline Operation with Flight Recorders” which was entered into the Congressional Record in Ryan’s Flight Recorder maintained a euricae recording of aircraft flight data such as engine exhaust, temperature, fuel flow, aircraft velocity, altitude, control surfaces positions, and rate of descent.
Boniface’s eurocea in aircraft crash investigations in the s  and in the accident investigations of the loss of one of the wings at cruise altitude on each of two Lockheed Electra turboprop powered aircraft Flight operated by Braniff Airlines in and Flight operated by Euroxae Orient Airlines in led to his wondering what the pilots may have said just prior to the wing loss and during the descent as well as the eyrocae and nature of any sounds or explosions that may have preceded or occurred during the wing loss.
His patent was for a device for recording audio of pilot remarks and engine or other sounds to be “contained with the in-flight ed112 within a sealed container that is shock mounted, fireproofed and made watertight” and “sealed in such a manner as to be capable of withstanding extreme temperatures during a crash fire”.
The origin of the term “black box” is uncertain. In a systems engineering context since the s when the term was spreadingthe meaning is that the aircraft is modeled as a black boxand its eugocae can be understood from its recorded inputs, such as pilot instructions, and outputs, such as flight level data.
The term “black box” is almost never used within the flight safety industry or aviation, which prefers the term “flight recorder”. One explanation for popularization of the term “black box” comes from the early film-based design of flight data recorders, which required the inside of the recorder to be perfectly dark to prevent light leaks from corrupting the record, as in a photographer’s darkroom.
Prior eurocse the end of the war innew electronic innovations, such as OboeGEE and H2Swere added rurocae bombers on a regular basis. The prototypes were roughly covered in hand-made metal boxes, painted black to prevent reflections. After a time any piece of “new” electronics was referred to as the “box-of-tricks” as illusionist box or eurocze “black box”. The first recorded use of the term “black box” in reference to flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders was by Mr E.
A flight data recorder FDR; also ADR, for accident data recorder is an electronic device employed to record instructions sent to any electronic systems on an aircraft. The data recorded by the FDR are used for accident and incident investigation. Due to their importance in investigating accidents, these ICAO -regulated devices are carefully engineered and constructed to withstand the force of a high speed impact and the heat of an intense fire.
Contrary to the popular term “black box”, the exterior of the FDR is coated with heat-resistant bright orange paint for high visibility in wreckage, and the unit is usually mounted in the aircraft’s tail sectionwhere it is more likely to eed-112 a severe crash.
Following an accident, the recovery of the FDR is usually a high priority for the investigating body, as analysis of the recorded parameters can often detect and identify causes or contributing factors.
They record significant flight parameters, including the control and actuator positions, engine information and time of day. There are 88 parameters required as a minimum under current US federal regulations only 29 were required untilbut some systems monitor many more variables. Generally each parameter is recorded a few times per secondthough some units store “bursts” of data at a much higher frequency if the data begin to change quickly.
Most FDRs record approximately 17—25 hours of euurocae in a continuous loop. Modern FDRs are typically double wrapped in strong corrosion -resistant stainless steel or titaniumwith high-temperature insulation inside. Modern FDRs are accompanied by an underwater locator beacon that emits an ultrasonic “ping” to aid in detection when submerged. A cockpit voice recorder CVR is a flight recorder used to record the audio environment in the flight deck of eurpcae aircraft for the purpose of investigation of accidents and incidents.
This is typically achieved by recording the signals of the microphones and earphones of the pilots’ headsets and of an area microphone in the roof of the cockpit.
Where an aircraft is required to carry a CVR and uses digital communications the CVR is required to record such communications with air traffic control unless this is recorded elsewhere. As of [update] it is an FAA requirement that the recording duration is a minimum of two hours.
A standard CVR is capable of recording 4 channels of audio data for a period of 2 hours. The original requirement was for a CVR to record for 30 minutes, but this has been found to be insufficient in many cases, significant parts of the audio data needed for a subsequent investigation having occurred more than 30 minutes before the end of the recording.
The earliest CVRs used analog wire recordinglater replaced by analog magnetic tape. Some of the tape units used two reels, with the tape automatically reversing at each end.
Other units used a single reel, with the tape spliced into a continuous loop, much as in an 8-track cartridge. The tape would circulate and old audio information would be overwritten every 30 minutes. Recovery of sound from magnetic tape often proves difficult if the recorder is recovered from water and its housing has been breached.
Thus, the latest designs employ solid-state memory and use digital recording techniques, making them much more resistant to shock, vibration and moisture. With the reduced power requirements of solid-state recorders, it is now practical to incorporate a battery in the units, so that recording can continue until flight termination, even if the aircraft electrical system fails.
Like the FDR, the CVR is typically mounted in the rear of the airplane fuselage to maximize the likelihood of its survival in a crash. Solid state recorders became commercially practical inhaving the advantage of not requiring scheduled maintenance and making the data easier to retrieve.
This was extended to the two-hour voice recording in Since the s, most large civil jet transports have been additionally equipped with a ” quick access recorder ” QAR.
This records data on a removable storage medium.
They also require specialized equipment to read the recording. The QAR recording medium is readily removable eurocxe is designed to be read by equipment attached to a standard desktop computer.
In many airlines, the quick eirocae recordings are scanned for ‘events’, an event being a significant deviation from normal operational parameters. This allows operational problems to be detected and eliminated before an accident or incident results. Many modern aircraft systems are digital or digitally controlled. Very often, the digital system will include Built-In Test Equipment which records information about the operation of the system.
This information may also be accessed to assist with the investigation of an accident or incident. In order to facilitate recovery of the recorder from an aircraft accident site they are required to be coloured bright yellow or orange with reflective surfaces.
To assist recovery from submerged sites they must be equipped with an underwater locator beacon which is automatically activated in the event of an accident.
EUROCAE- Standards for future aviation
In the investigation of the crash of Ed-121 Australia Airlines Flight at Mackay Queenslandthe inquiry judge strongly recommended that flight recorders be installed in all Australian airliners. Australia became the first country in the world to make cockpit-voice recording compulsory. The NTSB also serves in an advisory role for many international investigations not under its formal jurisdiction. The NTSB does not have regulatory authority, but must depend on legislation and other government agencies to act on its safety recommendations.
The Series of standards describe the form, fit, and function of avionics equipment installed predominately on transport category aircraft.
The “deployable” unit would depart the aircraft before impact, activated by sensors.
The unit is designed to “eject” and “fly” away from the crash site, to survive the terminal velocity of fall, to float on water indefinitely, and would be equipped with satellite technology for immediate location of crash impact site. However, government funding would negate cost objections from manufacturers and airlines. Operators would get both sets of recorders for free: The bill was referred to the House Subcommittee on Aviation during the th, th, and th Congresses.
The NTSB has asked for the installation of cockpit image recorders in large transport aircraft to provide information that would supplement existing CVR and FDR data in accident investigations. They have recommended that image recorders be placed into smaller aircraft that are not required to have a CVR or FDR. A mechanical instrument is likely to preserve its last indication, but this is not the case with an electronic display.
As with conventional CVRs and FDRs, data from such a system is stored in a crash-protected unit to ensure survivability. The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight demonstrated the limits of the contemporary flight recorder technology, namely how physical possession of the flight recorder device is necessary to help investigate the cause of an aircraft incident.
Considering the advances of modern communication, technology commentators called for flight recorders to be supplemented or replaced by a system that provides “live streaming” of data from the aircraft to the ground. Previous to MH, the investigators of the Air France Flight urged to extend the battery life as “rapidly as possible” after the crash’s flight recorders went unrecovered for over a year.
On December 28,Indonesia AirAsia Flighten route from SurabayaIndonesia, to Singaporecrashed in bad weather, killing all passengers and seven crew on board.
On January 12 and 13,following the recovery of the flight recorders, an anonymous ICAO representative said: A second ICAO official said that public attention had “galvanized momentum in favour of ejectable recorders on commercial aircraft”.
The artwork for the band Rammstein ‘s album Reise, Reise is made to look like a CVR; it also includes a recording from a crash. The recording is from the last 1—2 minutes of the CVR of Japan Airlines Flightwhich crashed on August 12,killing people; JAL is the deadliest single-aircraft disaster in history.
Members of the performing arts collective Collective: Unconscious made a theatrical presentation  of a play called Charlie Victor Romeo with a script based on transcripts from CVR voice recordings of nine aircraft emergencies. The play features the famous United Airlines Flight that landed in a cornfield near Sioux CityIowa after suffering a catastrophic failure of one engine and most flight controls.