In what I can only call a beautiful use of technology, light aircraft manufacturer LoPresti SpeedMerchants is set to put Apple iPods into airplanes to act as flight data recorders (obligatory short link if that one is broken) for one of its light planes.
The company says it plans the “full integration of the iPod into the Fury’s avionics systems”. The iconic ‘white box’ iPod will serve as a digital data recorder, nicknamed ‘black boxes’ by the general media. The iPod, with suitable software, acts as a hard disk with the ability to record over 500h of flight time data.
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The iPod can also act as an audio recorder, and can be used to capture two-way cockpit conversation and communication with air traffic control.
The iPod FDR would work with the patented iPod Dock Connector port on the bottom of the iPod, for which there is a large software developer community. “This is the perfect marriage of a consumer product to the aviation market” says Siegel. “The iPod has an ideal product spec for aviation. It’s light and small, with very low power requirements and a simple interface. There are thousands of developers passionate about writing applications for the iPod. With such a large body of programmers we literally have no idea what the next great aviation application may be.”
I’m curious how the iPod will be protected from explodificationizing in a truly catastrophic crash, but I leave that to smarter people to figure out. This is just a really cool project that I figured should be shared with others. I wonder if this will catch on and become standard for more aircraft, too. (via Danger Room)
[tags]iPod = the new Black Box?, Using the iPod to record aircraft flight data[/tags]