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Honeywell and Curtiss-Wright roll out data-transmitting black boxes

US aerospace companies Honeywell and Curtiss-Wright have teamed to develop a line of cockpit voice and data recorders that will be capable of transmitting aircraft data to ground stations.

Curtis-Wright will also distribute the "HCR-25" recorders, which will be available for business and commercial aircraft by 2020, prior to when new European cockpit recorder rules take effect, says Honeywell.

Those rules, set by the European Aviation Safety Agency, require that by 2021 large aircraft have cockpit voice and data recorders capable of at least 25h of recording duration.

In addition to meeting the 25h requirement, Honeywell and Curtiss-Wright's new HCR-25 boxes will have ability to continuously transmit aircraft data to ground stations via Honeywell's "Connected Aircraft" software, Honeywell says.

The data will stream off the aircraft to satellites and then to Honeywell's data centers.

That data can be processed through analytic tools and used by airlines to reduce flight disruptions and otherwise improve their operations, according to Honeywell. Transmitted data would also be easily available to accident investigators, it adds.

Honeywell will offer the systems as standalone cockpit voice recorders, standalone cockpit data recorders and combined data-voice variants, the company says.

Honeywell has not yet secured orders for the boxes, but is talking with both airlines and aircraft manufacturers, it says.

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