28 October 2014

Ejectable black-boxes for A350 under analysis 2/2

One of the Airbus suppliers, Honeywell vice-president of aerospace regulatory affairs Chris Benich, also briefed the forum and described how a deployable recorder would work.

The system first senses the start of a crash and releases the deployable recorder from the aircraft. In a previous patent filling, Airbus described the installation as a lower panel in the aft fuselage near the tail cone. If the system lands on water, it is designed to float indefinitely, with a locator beacon to alert search crews of its presence.

Upon immersion of the aircraft in water, an ejection device automatically ejects the beacon out of the aircraft. The ejection device includes a piston system that generates an opening in the aircraft and expels the beacon accordingly.

The most appropriate installation area is the rear upper part of the aircraft, just after the bulging wall (strong wall) delimiting the end of the pressurized area, as shown on figure above showing the tail 46 of the aircraft AC, provided with the stabilizer 47 and the horizontal tails 48

This rear extreme area is generally the least damaged after a crash and offers, in nearly all the aircraft, a free space being sufficient for the installation of the device according to the invention. Moreover, the access to this area is easy, for the installation of the device and for possible maintenance operations. In this area is also housed the digital flight data recorder, of the DFDR type, being the flight recorder recording the flight parameters, the other flight recorder being, most often, located before the bulging wall in the pressurized cargo area.

Furthermore, this area has the particularity, on the aircraft with a mobile horizontal plane, to become filled quickly in the case of an immersion, because of the opening present in the rear fuselage for the mobility of the rear plane, allowing the immersion condition to be detected or confirmed.

Patent available here.

Based on the article “Deployable beacons for A350/A380s” published in FlightGlobal.

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