What is Black Box in an Aircraft?

Black box in an airplane

The Black Box, also known as the ‘Flight Data Recorder,’ is an instrument that records all of the activities of the plane while it is in flight.

An aeroplane typically has two black boxes located at the front and back of the aircraft. These record information about a flight and aid in the reconstruction of events leading up to an aircraft crash.

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

What is a black box? - Kozhikode Air India plane crash and understanding how black boxes work | The Economic Times

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’.

The Black Box is divided into two sections:

1. Flight Data Recorder: This box can store data such as direction, altitude, fuel, speed, turbulence, and cabin temperature. For about 25 hours, 88 such values can be recorded. This box can withstand temperatures of approximately 11000°C for one hour and 260°C for ten hours. These boxes are red or pink in colour to make them easy to find.

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.

What is Black box? - Aircraft Nerds

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.

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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