The Australian inventor of the black box, which records flight data and is integral to crash investigations, has died at the age of 85.
Dr David Warren was principal research scientist at the Defence Science and Technology Organisation's Aeronautical Research Laboratories in Melbourne from 1952 to 1983.
According to the Department of Defence, he investigated the crash of the world's first jet airliner in 1953.
He then advocated voice recorders be used in the cockpit, designing and constructing the world's first black box prototype - the ARL - in 1956.
Australian authorities mandated black boxes be installed in cockpits 10 years later.
Black boxes are now installed in passenger airlines and other forms of transport around the world.
Dr Warren and his team received the Lawrence Hargraves award in 2001 for their pioneering work.
He was also appointed an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2002 and had a Qantas Airbus A380 named after him in 2008.
Dr Warren is survived by his wife Ruth, four children and seven grandchildren.
April 9, 2009
Craig Furgeson joked about this last night, and said "Why didn't he invent an airplane made out of the black box"? The Black Box is always intact when nothing else if left.
This actually was a very important invention to the world, and used ever since to save lives, by accurate determination of root causes of failures. From that, improvements are made, making flying safer and safer. Mr. Warren hopefully recieved his just due with being given royalties for his invention. Too many people never see a company issued patents where they earn royalties.
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