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

The Man Who Owns 40,000 Video Games

A short documentary about an Austrian gamer with an uncommon obsession

Join the Discussion

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

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

More in Technology

Just In