Small and Powerful Flight Data Black Box

Accidents involving medical helicopters are disturbingly common. To make matters worse, the causes of such accidents often go unsolved because typical flight data recording systems are too large, complex, and expensive for use in helicopters and small planes. At least, until now.

With help from the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, Appareo Systems developed a small, low-cost flight data recorder to close that gap. Unlike traditional systems, Appareo’s Vision 1000 does not rely on data from other aircraft avionics, but uses a software-driven camera to record critical flight information. Quickly adopted by industry, the Vision 1000 set a new legal standard for medical helicopter safety and is a powerful, widely used tool for ensuring pilot readiness and safety.

Appareo’s Vision 1000 flight data recorder is just one of many successful innovations enabled by the U.S. Air Force’s SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. For more information, visit


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