View Single Post
Old 19-06-2021, 12:48 PM
Registered User

gary is online now
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Mt. Kuring-Gai
Posts: 5,659
Post The Australian invention of the Black Box flight recorder

The fact that the "Black Box" flight data recorder was invented by an Australian is very well known.

However, this 18th June 2021 story by Allison Marsh writing for the
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Spectrum Magazine
provides a fascinating read on how David Warren, who was born in 1925
on Groote Eylandt, in the Northern Territory, first floated the idea to
his bosses at the Aeronautical Research Laboratories (ARL), a part
of Australia’s Department of Defence, by way of a Technical Memorandum.

A Melbourne instrument maker made the first prototype in 1958, however :-

Originally Posted by Allison Marsh, IEEE Spectrum
The response to the prototype was dismal. According to a 1998 account by Warren and his colleague Ken Fraser, civil authorities said that “Dr Warren’s instrument has little immediate direct use in civil aircraft.” The Royal Australian Air Force likewise decided that “such a device is not required—the recorder would yield more expletives than explanations.” Most damning was the Federation of Air Pilots, which declared that the device would be like “a spy flying alongside—no plane would take off in Australia with Big Brother listening.”
Originally Posted by Allison Marsh IEEE
That grim reception might have doomed the flight recorder. But Robert Hardingham, Secretary of the U.K. Air Registration Board, happened to see the prototype on an informal visit to the ARL, and he was so impressed that he arranged for Warren to fly to England immediately to demonstrate it. The British response was overwhelming, with manufacturers and aircraft operators offering their support.
Full story, photos here :-
Reply With Quote