Lv 7
? asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 1 decade ago

The Indestructible Black Box: Why isn't the whole plane built with that material?

Sometimes, that's all you find.


Yeah well maybe I realized that this question was asked and didn't have time to delete it. I am also bored with the same questions and don't really have anything to ask. So humor me.

Update 2:

That is hilarious. You see, I can learn something from asking a stupid question.

Update 3:

The point is, Strech, I already have all the answers.

Update 4:

That is cool trivia Stephen.

Update 5:

I believe that. I have a problem flying high altitudes. (from a lower one) and then landing from the higher one.

10 Answers

  • Fly B
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I posted this answer on a similar question. Hope it helps.

    Firstly, the material is WAY too expensive to be economical. I mean, if the average passenger had the option, fly on a regular airplane or fly on the black-box-material airplane, but the black-box-material airplane will cause $2,000 more for a 1 hour flight, people will choose the regular plane every time. This is because airplanes have a VERY good safety record, without needing stronger materials. Considering the actual costs associated with airlines, $2,000 more for a 1 hour flight is probably a low-ball estimate.

    Secondly, the plane would likely become too heavy to fly. Not only that, but we have to consider the runways and taxiways. Pavement, even at major international airports, can only support so much weight. Engineers can build wheel that are very strong, such that the A380 could sit on just three tires. But the amount of force exerted by each wheel would crumble the pavement beneath... so the weight is spread out across 22 wheels instead. Can you imagine how many tires would be needed to support the black-box airplane? That's assuming the weight can be distributed enough.

    Thirdly, lets consider crash dynamics. It's not how fast you are going, it's how fast you stop. If you travel at 60mph, and slam into a concrete wall, you will die. If you are travelling 200mph, but stop over the course of 500m, you will be just fine. Same deal with an airplane. On crash landing, if the airplane were made out of indestructible material, the airplane would absorb very little impact, and your body will have to take the full slam of the crash. If the plane were made of lesser materials, the cargo bay or the wings would crumple and protect the occupants. This is similar to the crumple zones of a car. Unlike cars, however, the crumple zones on an airplane is the belly of the aircraft, not the front end.

    I once again want to point out the weight problem. An airplane which is THAT heavy will have to have some serious reinforcements on the wings... very serious. To produce enough lift to get this beast airborne, we would have two options. Make a larger wing, or travel at higher speed. An aircraft of such weight would require tremendous wings, perhaps too large to be accommodated by any airport in the world. Even the A380 has size issues in most airports around the world, limiting its use. Or, the aircraft could travel at higher speed. The amount of thrust needed to accelerate such a beast in the limited amount of runway space would require again, engines not currently invented... unless you wanted to use the spaceshuttle engines... but again, really fuel inefficient.

    What about stopping? How do you stop something so big and heavy? There are no runways in the world that would be long enough to provide adequate stopping distance to something so heavy.

    Okay, so lets say you want to build a small plane out of the blackbox material. Well, its not economical to have a plane which can carry very few passengers, while having the same weight as an A380, with the fuel efficiency of the spaceshuttle. Nobody would buy it... not even the most paranoid billionaire.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Do you see the 'Search for questions:' box near the top of the page? Type your question in the box and you will get every answer you'll ever need because people have asked this question so much. Technically, nothing is indestructible, including black boxes. They survive partly due to their location in the rear of the aircraft which is usually the least likely to suffer a lot of damage in a crash. Also, they are cushioned by the aircraft around them. The aircraft absorbs most of the shock. Now to answer your question, the main reason aircraft are not made of black box material (ex. steel) is beacuse they would be too heavy to ever fly. Secondly, even if it was made of steel and flew, it would get destroyed if it crashed because the more surface area a material has the easier it is to dent or break. Try taking a small thin piece of aluminum bending it. Now take a large sheet of aluminum of the same thickness as the little piece. The sheet will be much easier to bend. So, in order to make an aircraft indestructible like a blackbox, not only would it have to be made of the same material, but the material would have to be as many times thicker as the plane is larger than the black box, in order for it to have the same indestructibility. I hope I didn't confuse you, but that's the answer. Hope it helps.

  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I usually answer every 100th time this question is asked.

    What is the source of your information that the Black Box is indestructible? The usual reference is that it has a greater chance of surviving a crash because of its heavy metallic construction and placement in the airframe. An almost indestructible component is a ball bearing. You should be asking "Why isn't the aircraft built like a ball bearing?" The same answer applies to the Black Box thingie...

    What works for a diaper need not work for a cannon.

  • czech
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Airplane Black Box Material

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  • Mark
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Mistaken premise.

    You are thinking not of the black box, but rather of the black box's container.

    It and the black box are sometimes destroyed.

    But even an indestructible aircraft cabin wouldn't protect you from the lethal deceleration during the crash.

  • 1 decade ago

    Because the larger something gets, the more destructible it gets. Also, I imagine that making an 'indestructible' airplane would result in something that can't easily get off the ground.

  • Natal
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    indestructible black box plane built material

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A consortium of Aircraft Companies actually did as you suggested once. The aircraft was so heavy that it had a wingspan of just under a 1/4 mile and 10 Olympus after-burning engines just to get it to taxi down the runway. Because of the excessive fuel load there was only room for 10 passengers and no luggage space was provided. It never did get off the ground; ran out of fuel before reaching the end of it's take off roll.

    You can see this unique aircraft today in Seattle, Washington in the USA. They hacked off the tail and wings, stuck it nose first in the ground and renamed it the SPACE NEEDLE.

  • 1 decade ago

    Personally, I reckon that all planes should be made from the same material as childrens' dolls. After all, after every major air crash, they always find a doll, completely intact.

  • strech
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Because people who do not check if a question has already been asked 1,000's of time will not have anything to ask on Yahoo Answers!

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