About Me

Steven Frischling
Live: HVN
Work: JFK-SFO-CDG-HKG
Contact Me

Steven Frischling, aka: Fish, is globe hopping professional photographer, airline emerging media consultant working with large global airlines and founder of The Travel Strategist. Fish has racked up more than 1,000,000 miles since he started to track his mileage in 2005.

Fish's travel tends to be less than leisurely, including flying from New York to Basrah, Iraq, for six hours; Hong Kong for eight hours, Kuwait City for two hours and traveling around the world in 3.5 days to shoot a series of photo assignments in 4 cities and 4 countries on 3 separate continents.

Fish grew up at the end of New York's JFK International Airport's Runway 4R/22L, which probably explains his enjoyment of watching planes, fly overhead. When not shooting photos or traveling Fish designs camera bags, hones is expertise on airline security and spends his time at home cheering for the Red Sox with his 3 kids 102 yards from the ocean.

Reader Mail : Where Does The Term “Black Box” Come From?

At the end of January I had written that I wish I received more reader mail with questions I could answer on Flying With Fish rather than those better responded to in one-to-one e-mail … and last night I received an email from Laura O’Connell that fit that comment.

Laura asks “In all the news photos of the of airplane black boxes the black box is always orange. Why is it called a black box?

Well Laura, I’m glad you asked! The term “black box” likely originates from Paul Beaudouin and François Hussenot’s original Type HB Flight Data Recorder dating back to 1939. The Type HB Flight Data Recorder was a photographic based system that recorded instrument data on a scrolling 8-meter by 88-millimeter single piece of photographic film.

The Type HB Flight Data Recorders were quite literally “Black Boxes” that needed to be free from light leaks to preserve the photographic film.

Modern “black boxes”, or Flight Data Recorders (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorders (CVR), are painted bright orange with heat resistant paint so they are easily visible at the site of an aircraft crash. “Black boxes” are most commonly installed in the rear of the aircraft where they are more likely to survive the impact of a crash.

Hopefully that answers the origins of why the bright orange Flight Data Recorders is commonly referred to as the ‘black box.’

Below is a graphic of The Black Box

Happy Flying!

One Response

  1. [...] The Black Box … yup they are orange [...]

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