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Black Box Flight Recorder

The idea of a crash and fire protected device to record both the voices and the instrument readings in the cockpit was conceived by Dr David Warren, a young scientist at the Aeronautical Research Laboratory (a predecessor to the current DSTO).

A Black Box Flight Recorder demonstrator unit
A Black Box Flight Recorder demonstrator unit

A demonstrator unit was produced in 1957, and while not approved by the Australian aviation authorities, was received enthusiastically in Britain where the device was taken for further development.

Following an unexplained aircraft accident in Queensland in 1960, Australia became the first country to make flight recorders mandatory in aircraft. Every airline in the world now flies with a flight data recorder or "Black Box".