How Did Old Analog Black Box Recorders Work?

In the days before digital drives, how did airplane black box recorders work? In this remarkably clear and concise video, "The Engineer Guy," aka Bill Hammack, explains every detail of these lovely old analog devices. It turns out that they worked roughly like seismographs. The altitude- and velocity-measuring instruments carved their data into a special kind of steel allow known as inconel. The 200-foot long steel spool rolled along at six inches an hour, so each box could record 400 hours of data.

Via CrunchGear; H/t: Mark Karayan.

Presented by

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Dravet Syndrome is a severe form of epilepsy that affects children. Could marijuana oils alleviate their seizures?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Inside a family's fight to use marijuana oils to treat epilepsy

Video

A Miniature 1950s Utopia

A reclusive artist built this idealized suburb to grapple with his painful childhood memories.

Video

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her school. Then the Internet heard her story.

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

More in Technology

Just In