hammack
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:18 pm

Flight Date Recorder FA-542 Questions

Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:31 pm

I have a Sundstrand Flight Data Recorder (FA-542) which I'm going to take about to show engineering students how it works. Does any one have an old manual? Any insights or information on how exactly they work?

This one is from Delta Airlines and is stamped 1967 ... it uses a magazine that (I think) contained a roll of inconel on which some of the flight parameters (e.g., altitude and airspeed) were inscribed. Based on the number of "scribing" arms inside it seems to record four parameters. Based on FAA rules issued in 1958 I'd guess these where altitude, airspeed, heading and vertical acceleration.

Any ideas what kind of aircraft this might have on? The flight data recorder rules changedi n 1972 - they required more parameters - but the rule change did not affect Boeing 707, 727. 737 and DC-8 and DC-9's. According to Dennis Grossi of the NTSB "the flight recorder requirement remained essentially unaltered until the issuance of rule changes in 1987 and 1988." In 1988 all original foil-type oscillographic recorders were replaced with digital recorders - or at least this was a recommendation ... not sure when it happened.

So, any opinions or insights? I will post a link to the video when done.
 
cmb56
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RE: Flight Date Recorder FA-542 Questions

Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:19 pm

I remember reloading those magazines when doing A checks on BAC1-11s back in 1986. They were probably state of the art at the time. You could possibly go to L3 who may now have the rights to all the Sundstarnd recorders from back then. If you post the actual part number back I may be able to do some research on a CMM.
 
hammack
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RE: Flight Date Recorder FA-542 Questions

Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:58 pm

CMB56 I have the flight data recorder in front of me. It is made by Sundstand Data Control. It is Model FA-452, serial number 2111 part number 101035. I verified through an NTSB report that this model was used in the mid 1970s on Delta's DC-9 (NTSB reported on the 11.27.1973 crash of N3323L); it might have been used as late as 1988 on their 727. An NTSB for N473DA mentions a "foil" type recorder, which the FA-452 is.
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Flight Date Recorder FA-542 Questions

Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:55 am

Quoting hammack (Thread starter):
Does any one have an old manual?

Boeing still has the CMM available via MyBoeingFleet.com (CMM 31-30-15)...I'm not sure if you've got access to that, but it does exist.

Quoting hammack (Thread starter):
Any insights or information on how exactly they work?

Data is inscribed on the foil at 6" per hour (spools are 200' long = 400 hours). The medium is marked at 1 minute and 15 minute intervals. Data comes as oscillatory graphs and binary scribes.

Stuff that's recorded on this particular model:
Front side:
-Trip/date
-Time (+/- 1% per 8 hours, marked each minute)
-altitude (-1000 to +50000, +/- 100-700 accuracy, 1 Hz)
-airspeed (100 to 450 KIAS +/- 10, 1 Hz)
-vertical acceleration (-3 to +6g +/- 0.2, 10 Hz)
-heading (0 to 360 +/- 2 degrees, 1 Hz)
Back side:
-nothing (used on other models, but not on the FA-452)

The scribers are positioned by servomechanisms while they're off the foil, then pressed against the foil and a roller at each sampling interval to make a mark.

The CMM has a fairly appalling level of detail, even for a CMM, so I highly recommend a copy if you can get one through legitimate channels.

Tom.
 
474218
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RE: Flight Date Recorder FA-542 Questions

Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:53 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 3):
Boeing still has the CMM available via MyBoeingFleet.com (CMM 31-30-15)...I'm not sure if you've got access to that, but it does exist.


I think you will find that the CMM my have checkout procedures only. I am almost positive they do not allow for opening the unit.
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: Flight Date Recorder FA-542 Questions

Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:05 am

Quoting 474218 (Reply 4):
I think you will find that the CMM my have checkout procedures only. I am almost positive they do not allow for opening the unit.

It's got complete disassembly/clean/check/repair/assembly procedures.

Tom.
 
hammack
Topic Author
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RE: Flight Date Recorder FA-542 Questions

Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:33 pm

This has been VERY helpful. I do not have access to the manual (CMM) via MyBoeingFleet.com ... if anyone knows another source I'd appreciate it.
 
cmb56
Posts: 209
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RE: Flight Date Recorder FA-542 Questions

Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:33 pm

I have the maintenance and overhaul manual and can scan and send at least portions of it. Where do you want it.
 
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HAWK21M
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Flight Date Recorder FA-542 Questions

Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:46 am

Quoting hammack (Thread starter):
The flight data recorder rules changedi n 1972 - they required more parameters - but the rule change did not affect Boeing 707, 727. 737 and DC-8 and DC-9'

Out here Currently....Rules were revised to include SSFDR [solid state] over previous FDR [Metal foil type] & DFDR [Digital].

regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
hammack
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RE: Flight Date Recorder FA-542 Questions

Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:05 pm

Thanks t all for help on this forum. The video about the black box came out it is at http://bit.ly/fR1jwC

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