The last couple of years hasn’t been that great for some airline companies with several high-profile crashes occurring in the Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The poor Malaysian airlines and Egypt’s national carrier were the ones that were hit multiple times and both remained mysteries for a large period before concrete evidence was found. So in the news whenever a crash is mentioned, the black box’s location is also mentioned. So what is the black box of a plane, how is it so important and what is contained in the inside?
First of all, a black box is a tough little beast from the outside that can withstand 1800 Fahrenheit temperature and 3400 G forces. It is made indestructible so that it can hold the important data of the plane like flight path, positional data, altitude, and sensors, etc. and even the communication between the pilot and the control towers with whom they have spoken. So, in a fatal air accident, the black box is most likely the only thing that is guaranteed to survive, and we make frantic searches retrieve it so that the reason behind the crash can be determined without a doubt. Any foul play like a ground attack or trouble in the flight or passenger cabin can be easily determined after we have recreated what happened on the plane and how it crashed into the ground or water.
Interestingly, the data itself is only stored inside a small chip inside the black box’s thick metal exterior that takes considerable efforts with even industrial grade cutters to open. There is a squashy cushion-type material inside the box to protect the precious chip from heavy impact. It is also water proof and floats on water as well if it doesn’t go down with the debris that is.
Here is an interesting sneak peek inside the black box from What’s Inside. The Funny thing is, it isn’t even black!