Light aircraft maker LoPresti has announced that it will be using the Apple iPod as the flight data recorder – otherwise known as the ‘black box’ – on its Fury aircraft. The white box – doesn’t sound right does it? – will apparently store 500 hours of flight data. iTunes at 10,000 feet sounds groovy, but surely there’s going to be a slight problem with robustness if you need to recover one for a crash analysis? Aren’t real black boxes suppose to survive fire, water and just about anything else that might afflict a downed plane?
It was not immediately clear from the company’s statement which parameters would be recorded and for what purpose. Recorders are currently used to collect data for maintenance purposes through system monitoring, for post-flight analysis in training and safety-monitoring, and, when suitably protected, for crash investigation.