In a news article I saw this picture of a black box from a crashed A320. The article mentioned that finding the black box had lead to some disappointment due to the black box having been damaged:

This got me wondering where the actual data storage is located inside the black box. The cylindrical piece on the left looks like it is designed to be more robust than the rest of the hardware, so I am guessing that is where the data storage is located.

Are the reports of the damage exaggerated in this case? Or is any of the critical data stored in those parts of the device which have been damaged?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Which one? The FDR and the CVR are not commonly called "the black box." $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2015 at 13:02
  • $\begingroup$ @raptortech97 The article didn't specify which one. It just mentions that it is one of the two black boxes. $\endgroup$
    – kasperd
    Mar 25, 2015 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ @raptortech97 I found another article stating that it is the CVR. $\endgroup$
    – kasperd
    Mar 25, 2015 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


The image of the recovered "black box" is showing the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR). The data is stored in the cylindrical housing that was relatively undamaged in the crash.

The housing consists of a stainless steel outer shell to withstand impact forces. Beneath it is a layers of high temperature insulation to protect the data storage from post crash fire.

enter image description here

  • 18
    $\begingroup$ How did you get this picture? It says right on it DO NOT OPEN! $\endgroup$
    – corsiKa
    Mar 25, 2015 at 15:56
  • 14
    $\begingroup$ All I see is "uu ıvuı OPEN" $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2015 at 18:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Inside the high temperature insulation is a thick layer of wax, designed to absorb lots of heat by melting. $\endgroup$
    – Bob Stein
    Nov 3, 2018 at 12:27

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