L3Harris Eyes Retrofit Market For New Cockpit Voice And Flight Data Recorder
L3Harris Technologies has received a supplemental type certificate (STC) for its SRVIVR25 A757 combined voice and flight data recorder (CVDR) for installation on the Boeing 737NG platform.
The SRVIVR25 A757 is the latest model of L3Harris Technologies SRVIVR25 CVDR family, which was the first 25-hr. recorder compliant with current EASA regulations, according to Darshan Gandhi, director of product management for flight recorders and connectivity at L3Harris Technologies. Designed as a quick replacement technology upgrade, the system is ARINC 757-compliant and can be deployed as a voice or flight data-only recorder, or combined cockpit voice and flight data recorder. The SRVIVR25 A757 is also a direct, drop-in replacement of current recorders incorporating ARINC 757 architecture.
Certified in June 2020 under a technical standards order and type certified for line fit on the Airbus A320, the SRVIVR25 family is also available as a replacement for older cockpit voice and data systems on other Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and Bombardier aircraft.
“Additional STCs are planned for the Dash 8 and Embraer E-175, to be completed in the second quarter of 2023,” says Gandhi. “An STC for the Bombardier CRJ is expected to be completed before the end of January of this year.”
According to Gandhi, the 737NG was selected for the SRVIVR25 A757 because of the large legacy fleet of that aircraft type operated by L3Harris Technologies customers, and to meet a Transport Canada Civil Aviation mandate requiring the installation of a recorder-independent power supply (RIPS) capable of providing 10 min. of back-up power in the event of an aircraft power source interruption. Along with the STC, the SRVIVR25 A757 has received Transport Canada validation for installation.
The mandate, which will be effective as of May 29, includes amendments to Canadian Aviation Regulations, increasing from 30 min. to two hours, the time span for which cockpit voice recorders must capture cockpit conversations. According to L3Harris, the SRVIVR25 A757 is capable of recording more than 50 hr. of cockpit voice and more than 140 hr. of flight data, depending on the aircraft wiring.
The amendments will require installation of a cockpit voice recorder in multi-engine and turbine-powered aircraft that are configured for six or more passenger seats, and dual-pilot certified. In addition, the amendments will apply to transport category helicopters with a maximum certificated take-off weight of more than 7,000 kg (15,400 lb.) Operators were given a four-year compliance period, from the date the amendments were published on May 29, 2019.
A Transport Canada media representative says the amendments will enhance air safety by providing investigators with access to more data, which can help to determine the cause of accidents and how to prevent them. The amendments will also harmonize Canada’s cockpit voice recorder requirements with international standards, and respond to two outstanding recommendations from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
Gandhi notes that although the SRVIVR25 A757 supports voice only, data only or combination voice and data, the STC for the 737NG application is voice only, primarily due to the aircraft’s wiring and configuration.
The SRVIVR25 is replacing several legacy recorder brands. Gandhi says the installation meets or exceeds compliance with the Transport Canada retrofit and line fit regulations—specifically cockpit voice recorder duration, a RIPS and datalink recording, as well as verification of the voice quality of the recording system, including the cockpit area microphone.
“The SRVIVR25 records the ambient sounds and conversations in the cockpit critical to incident and crash investigation. The RIPS powers the cockpit area microphone,” says Gandhi. “Other manufacturers have similar recorders that support the mandate, but they don’t all offer integrated RIPS.”
He adds that because the SRVIVR25 RIPS is integrated to the recorder, itself, it does not require additional real estate and wiring, which is the case of RIPSs available as external units. That capability, Gandhi says, derives from the OEM’s FA5000 recorder RIPS technology.