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What is Black Box and Why is it Used in a Plane or Helicopter?

The most important part of any aircraft or helicopter is the black box.  It is called Black Box but it is usually orange in Color. One commonly uses the term “black box” in relation to aviation safety. But what precisely is a black box, and why is it a vital feature of planes and helicopters?  Actually, it records all the activities of any plane during flight. It is also called flight data recorder. It is made of the world’s strongest metal, titanium, which is not affected by even the biggest explosions. Today here we are going to talk about this in detail, what is this black box and what is its use, why is it used in a plane or helicopter, how does a black box work. If you are unaware of it, you will learn everything there is to know about black boxes after reading this article.

A black box is an electronic recording device placed on board an aircraft to facilitate the investigation of aircraft accidents. They are also known as flight recorders. In this article, we’ll explore into the world of black boxes, exploring their evolution, components, functionality, and their importance role in aviation investigations.

What is black box?

An airplane’s black box or flight data recorder is a device that records all activities during flight in the air. This box is kept in the rear part of the plane. With the help of this equipment, it can be found out what happened during the flight in any aircraft.

Black box informs about any accident occurring in any aircraft. Also, even after the accident occurs, with its help the true causes of any accident can be found out.

Whenever a plane accident happens, one thing must come to your mind that why do the investigating agencies search for its black box. Ultimately, this is what transpires that discloses every detail of the accident .In actuality, a black box is installed in the aircraft to determine the reason of an accident.

An aircraft black box or flight data recorder records all activities related to the aircraft during flight. Such as aircraft direction, altitude, fuel, speed, cabin temperature etc. It collects information from 25 hours of recorded activities.

Black box is a box made of titanium, the thing which records the movements of the aircraft is inside it. No matter from what height this black box falls, nothing happens to it. There is no effect on it even if it falls in water. It remains on for about 25 to 30 days after a plane crashes so that it can be easily tracked.

Many people think that, it is orange in color then why is it called black box.Its middle portion is actually black, which is why it’s dubbed a “black box.” If you want more details please read this wiki

What is black box?

Evolution of Black Boxes

The concept of black boxes dates back to the mid-20th century, with their initial purpose being to record flight data for analysis. Over the years, technological advancements have transformed these devices into sophisticated instruments capable of capturing intricate details.

The evolution of black boxes, a term that has come to represent complex systems or technologies with opaque inner workings, has been a fascinating journey marked by technological advancements and increasing reliance on artificial intelligence. Black boxes, a term first used in the aviation industry to refer to flight data recorders, are now used to refer to a broad range of technologies,

including financial models and machine learning algorithms. The difficulty is finding a balance between the advantages these “black boxes” provide and the demands of responsibility and openness as they grow more and more ingrained in our everyday lives. The growth of black boxes shows not only the rapid progress in technology but also the pressing need for ethical concerns and legal frameworks to enable responsible and equitable deployment in a range of industries.

Read this : How Does Chemistry Impact Our Daily Lives?

Why is Black Box used?

Generally, black boxes are used to detect accidents in flight. Black boxes are mostly used in flights. The amount of aviation accidents has significantly increased in recent years. Only in order to prevent and accurately report air mishaps is this equipment utilized during flights.

When and who invented the black box?

Efforts to create a black box began in the early 1950s. At the same time, the number of aircraft also increased and their accidents also increased. A search has been started to find out the cause of the accident.

The black box was invented by aeronautical researcher David Warren in 1954. Then this box was called red egg because of its red color. After that, this box came to be called black box because of the blackness of the inner wall.

Well, it is not yet clear why this box is called black because its upper part is red or pink. This is so that it can be seen from a distance anywhere.

Soon after the discovery, black boxes began to be installed on every aircraft. It is kept at the rear of every aircraft so that the black box remains safe even in case of an accident. Let us tell you that usually the rear part of the aircraft is least affected in an air accident.

Components of a Black Box

Modern black boxes consist of two main components: the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR). The FDR records a plethora of data related to the aircraft’s performance, while the CVR captures audio from the cockpit, including conversations between the flight crew.

Complex technology intended to capture and retain data essential for post-incident analysis are housed in the black box. Its parts are made up of sensors that take in different characteristics, a data recorder that logs information, and a durable protective shell. The black box’s sensors could include gyroscopes, accelerometers, and other devices designed to track particular environmental parameters. The interplay of these elements is essential to the black box’s capacity to offer insightful information about what happened before mishaps or malfunctions, which helps investigators better comprehend and enhance system efficiency.

What is inside the black box?

There are two different types of boxes inside the black box.



Flight Data Recorder

It collects more than 25 hours of recorded information about a variety of data such as aircraft direction, altitude, fuel, speed, temperature, etc.

This box can tolerate a temperature of 11000 degrees Celsius for one hour while it has the ability to tolerate a temperature of 260 degrees Celsius for 10 hours. The color of both these boxes is not black but red or pink so that it can be easily found.

Cockpit Voice Recorder

This box records the sound of the aircraft during the last 2 hours. It records engine noise, emergency alarm sound, cabin sound and cockpit sound to get an idea of ​​what the environment of the aircraft was like before the accident.

How does a black box work?

Being made of titanium and having multiple layers, it is very strong. Even if the plane catches fire, the possibility of the black box being destroyed is almost negligible because it can tolerate a temperature of 10000 degrees centigrade for about 1 hour. Apart from this, it works without electricity for a month, that is, the data remains saved in it even after a month of the accident.

In case of an accident, the black box makes a continuous sound, which makes it easier for search teams to reach the accident site. Even after falling 20,000 feet into the sea, sounds and waves continue to emanate from this box and this continues for 30 days continuously. Meaning, it can send signals even from 20,000 feet deep in seawater.

Well, not only the black box but another thing in the airplane helps in extracting data, that is the cockpit voice recorder (CVR).In actuality, it belongs to the black box. It captures the last two hours of activity within the aircraft. This records the sound of the engine, the emergency alert, and the voice from the cockpit, which is the pilot and co-pilot’s communication.


In conclusion, black boxes are invaluable tools in aviation, serving as silent witnesses to the events leading up to an incident. The continuous evolution of these devices, coupled with emerging technologies, ensures that they remain at the forefront of enhancing aviation safety.



Are black boxes truly indestructible?

Despite their robust design, black boxes face challenges in extreme conditions, and there have been cases of damage.

Do all aircraft, including helicopters, have black boxes?

Yes, regulatory requirements mandate the installation of black boxes in all commercial aircraft, including helicopters.

Can black box data be used in legal proceedings?

The use of black box data in legal proceedings is subject to legal considerations and may vary by jurisdiction.

How long is black box data stored?

Black box data is typically stored for a minimum of two years, ensuring that relevant information is available for investigation.




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