henpol747
Posts: 563
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2001 5:53 am

Why Black Box?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:30 am

Hi all, sorry if this is a dumb question but, why is the black box called black box when it is actually bright orange or red?

Thanks,

Henpol747
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phollingsworth
Posts: 635
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 6:05 am

RE: Why Black Box?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:44 am

Quoting Henpol747 (Thread starter):
Hi all, sorry if this is a dumb question but, why is the black box called black box when it is actually bright orange or red?

Because it is a "black box". That is stuff goes in, something is done to that stuff, which a typical person doesn't really know or comprehend, and stuff comes out. The black refers to the fact that it is sealed and "light" does not get in.
 
typhaerion
Posts: 425
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RE: Why Black Box?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:47 am

Black box refers to any box whose contents are of a technical and not easily explained nature. Input goes into a black box and produces an output, but the internal workings are complicated enough to be a mystery to most.

Back when airplane black boxes were invented, the internal workings were highly advanced and therefore, earned the name 'black box' for the complex way the took and stored data in an indestructable manner.

The CVR and the DFDR are bight orange or red for visability after a crash.

Here is a link that might help you a little...

Wikipedia's Definition of the Black Box
For some, the sky is the limit. For us, it is only the beginning... -- Jack Hunt
 
henpol747
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2001 5:53 am

RE: Why Black Box?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:53 am

Thank you guys for the info.

Does anybody know about any crash where the black boxes were never retrieved?
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kc135topboom
Posts: 11002
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: Why Black Box?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:56 am

Usually a crash in very deep water (more than 1000' or 300m), it is difficult to ever find the black boxes. Some are never found.
 
Eirjet
Posts: 317
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 1:09 am

RE: Why Black Box?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 1:07 am

For a long time, I used to think the title came from the belief that whenever the black box needed to be retrieved it was after a tragic or 'black' day.
Apologies for my morbid thinking..

Eirjet
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utapao
Posts: 546
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:19 pm

RE: Why Black Box?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 1:11 am

I've always heard it goes back to the use of the phrase 'black box' years ago to mean a box full of gadgets.

I've also seen the following on various sites:
  • David Warren's original invention was housed in black bakelite so the British dubbed it the 'Black Box'.
  • The recorder was well received in England (where the name "Black Box" was coined by a journalist at a briefing) and also in Canada where the idea was seen as a potential addition to beacons being developed there.
  • Dr Warren continued to lead the project, developing the Flight Memory device to record more instruments with greater accuracy. This led to the first commercially produced flight-recorder - the Red Egg - which was manufactured by British firm of S. Davall & Son and captured a large part of the British and overseas market at that time.

I'm sure there are many on here with more technically accurate explanations.
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