Recently, regulators have changed the length of time required for underwater locator beacons (ULB) to transmit from 30 to 90 days. This has in part resulted in the time and expense taken to locate the AF447 aircraft which was lost in the mid-Atlantic. These changes mean manufacturers won’t get the relevant technical standing order (TSO-C121b) unless their beacons have sufficient battery capacity to meet the 90 day requirement. For example, EASA regulations (CAT.IDE.H.185) state "By 1 January 2020 at the latest, this device [CVR] shall have a minimum underwater transimmion time of 90 days."
Curtiss-Wright’s Fortress flight data recorders were designed from the beginning to accommodate these needs and are all equipped with 90 day ULBs that meets TSO-C121b. Existing MPFR, DAFR and EMPFR product lines have been modified to include a TSO-C121b approved 90 day beacon. Existing fielded MPFR, DAFR and EMPFR can have the current 30 day beacon replaced with a 90 day beacon following a minor modification. For more information on the 90-day underwater locator beacon, please contact us.