|Q: You know that little indestructible black box that is used on planes, why can't they make the whole plane out of the same thing?|
|A: The thing i like most about this question is that the people who ask it seem to me of the opinion that you could say it to a team of aerospace engineers and they'd snap their fingers and say "Oh fuck me, that's a good idea." And the person responsible for revolutionising air travel would presumably be given a huge reward and lots of naked women or something.
In truth there are several reasons why a blakbox-plane wouldn't be feasible. First the plane would be even more expensive to build. "But," I hear you ask, "what value can be placed on a human life?" Well if the plane free falls from a cruising altitude to the ground, regardless of whether the plane stays intact or not, you are fuked. Also, even if the plane did survive intact i doubt that an airline would be allowed to reuse it, so spending extra money on the plane is really not going to be helpfull to anyone. Now for the more practical reasons; balck boxes can be made out of titanium and kevlar and other fantastic things. If a plane was made out of the same stuff it would be too heavy to fly. Also it is not just the material but the design of the black box that makes it so durable. It is designed for impact and has all sorts of features like crumple zones which protect the recording devices. If you built the entire plane like that, impact is exactly what it would do, and no amount of crumple zone will save you from that sort of fall.