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Black Boxes In The Tail?  
User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12217 posts, RR: 18
Posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3456 times:
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I was just reading an article in the local paper about the AF447 crash and was wondering if putting the black boxes in the tail of the aircraft would be more safer and easier to locate. The reason I'm wondering this is because if you look at pictures of the NZ A320 and the AF A330 crash, both aircrafts tails came out from high speed water crashes in one piece.

What does everyone else think?

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8309 posts, RR: 23
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3434 times:

You mean in the actual vertical fin itself? The reason I ask for clarification is that I know you're going to get a few "they're already in the tail!" replies.


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User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3416 times:

You might want to do a search, this topic comes up every once in awhile....

Anyway....

They are in the tail section because the tail has a less of a chance of breaking-up completely during a crash. This has been proven on almost every aircraft accident.

Edit: re-wording...

[Edited 2010-05-06 17:10:17]


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User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12217 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3353 times:
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Quoting N766UA (Reply 1):

Yes I'm talking about the vertical fins as they alwways seem to float. Thanks for the clarification.


User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3344 times:

I opened two threads about this concept and was boohood with all kinds of reasons why it wouldn't work which did not convince me their arguments were strong enough. The fact that in three total Airbus airframe hull losses, the vertical fin detached in tact and floated on the surface of the water...this would certainly result in rapid recovery of the data...the alternative is to continue, God forbid...future fishing in ocean depths for dead pingers...I think it is a no brainer...sorry I did not file the patent!...g

User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3417 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3344 times:

I am somewhat suprised that the FAA hasn't asked for atleast a study on the costs for a solidstate memory box to mirror the data on the recorder.

once you know the costs for an extra device, where you put it doesn't matter too much. Might even be cheap enough to locate several around the plane as the primary cost will be the interface with the existing system.


User currently offlinejolau1701 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 235 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3250 times:

I wonder if flight data recorders (or the compartment they are in) can be designed so they can be ejected from the aircraft.

User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3222 times:

Quoting jolau1701 (Reply 6):

Why would you want to eject it from the airplane. In the case of AF447, your scenario would make it even harder to find them......and the wreckage.



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User currently offlineADent From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1390 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3182 times:

They aren't in the vertical fin because they are semi-regularly accessed and you can't get to the fin easily.

You could put a remote recorder up there. Probably would have to be less damage tolerant to fit in smaller aircraft, but since it is a duplicate it would be possible.

There has been talk of eject-able black boxes. Probably would have to a remote recorder rather than the sole recorder. This would drive extra costs, extra weight, cause problems when it falls out accidentally, etc. It is possible though.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 9, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2984 times:

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 4):
The fact that in three total Airbus airframe hull losses, the vertical fin detached in tact and floated on the surface of the water...this would certainly result in rapid recovery of the data

That's great to help you find the vertical fin...but that's usually not with the aircraft. It would work, but you'd want to install separate pingers on the airframe so you could locate it independently of the black box.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 5):
I am somewhat suprised that the FAA hasn't asked for atleast a study on the costs for a solidstate memory box to mirror the data on the recorder.

The FDR *is* a solidstate memory box; I'm not really following you here. Many aircraft have a QAR anyway, which is exactly what you're describing (just not mandated by FAA).

Tom.


User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2898 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 9):
That's great to help you find the vertical fin...but that's usually not with the aircraft. It would work, but you'd want to install separate pingers on the airframe so you could locate it independently of the black box.

Which leads to a concept already discussed on Anet last year with the AF447 tragedy: ejectable FDR's that steer clear of the airframe impact point. Technically possible I would think (tricky part is determining the ejection trigger criteria: G's, vertical speed, extreme attitudes at low altitude, etc) except that you will incur R&D expense as well extra airframe weight so everyone is against it.

Faro



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