29 January 2015

Both ejectable black-boxes and live stream flight-data under development for A350 XWB

Airbus continues the communication with the European regulator EASA to make ejectable flight recorders available on the A350 (and also A380), potentially making them the first commercial planes to use the technology.

The talks with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) come as global aviation authorities consider recommending the devices to make it easier to recover evidence in cases such as the 28/Dec/2014 crash of an AirAsia jet, whose data recorder was recovered some weeks later.

Used in military planes for decades, ejectable or "deployable" recorders separate from the tail during a crash and float, emitting a satellite distress signal.

"Airbus is working with EASA ... and other stakeholders to advance the approval of such a solution industry-wide," an Airbus spokesman said. "In the future, applicability for our other aircraft products could be likewise considered, but presently we have decided to focus on the A350 and A380," he added.

Boeing has taken the opposite stance over the use of deployable recorders, arguing the majority of its black boxes are recovered within 30 days and citing instances where the alternative recorders have failed on military aircraft.

In parallel, Qatar Airways wants to be the 1st airline to stream flight data from black boxes to operations centers on the ground in real-time, so that rescue crews won’t miss a beat in the event of a disturbance during flight.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said a new flight tracking system was currently being tested in preparation for a fleet-wide deployment. “Once this has been proven and all the bugs have been cleared then Qatar Airways will, I hope, be the first airliner to introduce this in all our planes,” Baker said.

Based on the article “Airbus in talks with regulator on ejectable 'black boxes'” published in Reuters and based on the article “Qatar Airways Plans to Live Stream Flight Data from Black Box Recorders” published in Time.

1 comment:

  1. I'm curious as to what is the threshold at which the black box will be ejected. For example. If the plane is in a free dive and is recovered before it impacts the terrain or ocean, when would the plane know when to eject the box?