A black box is one of the most crucial elements of an airplane. It is like a hard disk or a memory card that records all the data associated with the flight. It is a protected recording device that also records the conversations between pilots in the cockpit. The black box remains heavily protected so that it can be recovered in case of any adversities to figure out the final stages before the accident. The black box is made of memory boards, aluminum, and an inch of insulation to withstand high temperatures.
These boxes acquired the name as ‘black box’ maybe because they were initially painted black to prevent any sort of reflection. These are generally orange in color and are cylindrical in shape. The black box is the only evidence that remains after a fatal airplane accident, even if they are considered a rarity. Immediately after an accident, the investigators try to look for the black box of the aircraft. Since they provide crucial information when an investigation is carried on, they are dealt with immense caution.
The black box was invented by Dr. David Warren after his father passed away in an airplane crash. He built the prototype of the device and Australia became the first country to put it to use. The black box is made up of two different segments. One contains the flight data recorder or the FDR and the other contains the cockpit voice recorder or the CVR. FDRs are responsible for recording data such as fuel flow, altitude, airspeed, and vertical acceleration. While the CVRs record the conversation in the aircraft. FDRs give the investigators important information but many times they are broken or dented. In that case, the memory boards are removed and cleaned to get the proper record. Both are crucial tools when it comes to an airplane. A black box is, indeed, an invaluable innovation!