What is Black Box in an Aircraft, how does it work, and its significance in a crash investigation?

The Black Box, technically known as Flight Data Recorder, is an instrument that records all the activities of an aeroplane/ aircraft during its flight. An aeroplane generally houses two black boxes, one at the front and another on the back of an aircraft.
Black Box Location in the Aeroplane
Black Box Location in the Aeroplane

Black Box: Technically known as ‘Flight Data Recorder’, the Black Box is an instrument that records all the activities of the aeroplane during its flight.

An aeroplane generally houses two black boxes kept at the front and backside of the aeroplane. These record the information about a flight and help reconstruct the events that lead to an aircraft crash.

Black Box is made of Titanium metal and is enclosed in a Titanium box which gives it the strength to withstand any shock if it falls in the sea or falls from the height.


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History of Black Box

In view of the increasing incidences of aeroplane crashes, it was thought to develop a device which can give information about the reasons for Plane accidents and might also help in saving planes from accidents. Hence, a black box was invented.

Earlier the box was red in colour and hence the name ‘Red Egg’. The inner walls of the box were black in colour, so it came to be known as a ‘Black Box’.

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The Black Box has two separate boxes:

1. Flight Data Recorder:- This box can contain information about direction, altitude, fuel, speed, turbulence, cabin temperature etc. About 88 such values for about 25 hours can be recorded. This box can withstand a temperature of about 11000°C for one hour and a temperature of 260°C for 10 hours. These boxes are red or pink in colour so that can be found easily.

Flight Data Recorder

2. Cockpit Voice Recorder:-This box records the sound of the airplane during the last two hours. It records the sound of engine, emergency alarm, cabin and cockpit in order to predict the conditions of the plane before any accident occurred.

Cockpit Voice Recorder

How does a Black Box work?

As we have already been told that the Black Box is made up of strong metal. It can work for 30 days without any electricity. It can withstand a temperature of 11000°C. When this box is lost anywhere, it keeps on emitting the waves along with a beep sound for about 30 days.

This voice can be identified by the investigators from a distance of about 2-3 Kilometers. An interesting fact with regard to the Black box is that it can emit waves from the depth of 14000 feet in the sea.

How black box works

Though a black box does not reflect a clear picture of plane accidents and in some of the accidental cases it could hardly be found but one fact is for sure that it plays an important role in the investigation of plane accidents.

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