Whats the stuff that flight recorders are made of? Is it really indestructable - If so, why dont they just build the whole aircraft out of the same material?

Oh, oh.

Because the plane would be too heavy and expensive.

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

'Cuz the plane would weigh nine billion pounds

they can fly great, they just can’t land very well.

We live in an age that reads to much to be wise, and thinks too much to be beautiful–Oscar Wilde

This has to be a joke, he’s hit all the good ones so far.

We live in an age that reads to much to be wise, and thinks too much to be beautiful–Oscar Wilde

Sure, it’s all a joke, but there’s nothing funny about the FACT that Black Boxes are made out of AN EXCITING MARTIAN POLYMER which the U.S. Government is keeping out of airplane design due to THE POWERFUL CONGLOMERATE OF FOREIGN INSURANCE CORPORATIONS!

Hell is Other People.

You know, I used to think that people came to this site and didn’t check the friggin’ archives before plunging in with a question that has been asked a million times before. Then I started to believe that board regs assume new identities and post the questions to see how people will react.

But no more. I have a new theory.

The allies of Ignorance, opposing the Teeming Millions’ attempt to stamp it out, recruit soldiers to come to the Straight Dope web site. These commandos reconnoiter the archives for days and compare the articles to General Question threads, hoping to find overlap. Once a satisfactory list of annoying questions has been compiled, the Ignorance Intelligence Corps draws up a battle plan to lob the questions in at the most destructive moments.

It’s diabolical, I tell you.

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

I think you must be right, manny.

What’s your prediction for the next one?

I say driveway/parkway.

This space for rent.

Corporal Alphagene of the SDMB Information Squad reporting for duty.

The answer to your question has already been provided by the Chief Executive Answerer, maggot. Read this and the rest of the archives, neophyte.

Back off, man. I’m a scientist.

IIRC, flight recorders are made out of the same stuff that your cassette tape recorder is made of, recording heads, magnetic tape, etc… They aren’t indestructible, that’s why they’re put inside of black boxes.

You ask questions, you get answers…

As Marilyn said “forget about the black box. We need to make people out of the stuff.”

It’s made out of the same stuff as your TV set. Try hitting it with a hammer a few times and see how durable it is. I even dropped mine out of a 2nd story window once just to test it. And you know what? It worked. Give that one a try also.

Well, shut my mouth. It’s also illegal to put squirrels down your pants for the purposes of gambling.

Yeah, your TV is almost as durable as your computer screen. Give it a try, too.

Mr. K’s Link of the Month:

The Enchanted World of Rankin-Bass

Sake was almost right… the casing of a black box is made of an advanced alloy of 92% unobtanium and 8% bogusium (to give it that nice matte sheen). The reason they don’t make the entire plane out of the stuff is because most of the world’s production is shipped to Area 51 for the production of reverse-engineered alien spacecraft (and the occasional one-off reverse-engineered alien barbecue grill).

Shared pain is lessened; shared joy is increased.

Hell with making the plane or the pasengers outta the stuff. I say make the entire planet out of it! Think of it, life in an industructable world! Then what would those whiney environmentalists bitch about? Acid rain? Hah! Our trees are made of Unobtainium.

And why are they “Black Boxes”, for goshsakes people paint them orange or chartruese.

Cause we already answered the box questions before? can you imagine a tank flying? ah, ha, I knew you would understand.

As for why they call them black boxes & they are orange, I believe ‘black box’ is a generic electronics word set for special electronics.

I’ve never understood why we need black box recorders in the first place. Every time a plane crashes, you see these pieces in the newspaper about how they haven’t found the black box recorder yet, or they just found it but haven’t reviewed the tape it made. Well, what good is it going to do? The whole flight, all it’s been doing is recording a bunch of black boxes! How is that going to help an investigation? What they need is an indestructible recorder that records flight data and cockpit conversations. Then we’ll have something.

“That’s entertainment!” —Vlad the Impaler