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What’s Inside a Black Box Flight Recorder?

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Written by Conner Flynn | July 1, 2016

Have you ever wondered what’s inside of a black box? You know, the boxes that are on airplanes and helicopters, that help investigators determine what happened in a crash? Well, father and son team Dan and Lincoln from the What’s Inside? channel cut open a black box flight recorder to find out. Yes, we know it’s red and not black – that’s to help make them easier to find.

To make things more interesting, they do so after dropping it from a helicopter. It only showed minor scuffs from that 500-foot fall drop. These things are tough, obviously. They have to be in order to survive crashes. That metal casing, along with some sort of industrial strength filler is amazingly thick, so it took a lot of cutting with a power saw to get through the exterior box.

Eventually they get through and find the heart of the operation – a circuit board with chips on it. This tiny circuit board stores tons of relevant data about the flight. Cool stuff.