David ‘Dave’ Warren was born in 1925 was a famous Australian scientist who was best known for his technology that became “the black box” taken for granted in aviation craft to this day. If you didn’t know, Dave’s inventions were the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder that have both proven essential in determining what was said before a catastrophic plane crash.
His invention has proven to be a very important part of airline crash investigations throughout the decade since its introduction. The ‘black box’ as it is colloquially known is designed to survive plane crashed and be recoverable under most circumstances, including if submerged in water.
Playing back what was recorded in the lead up to the crash has helped many investigators determine what caused the accident. The technology was revolutionary because it was able to record and self-erase with each new flight, meaning that the information recorded was only even relevant and retrievable after a crash.
Due to the practical nature of the invention, Dave’s black box could be easily incorporated into commercial airlines and used over and over again. Because of his invention, Dave received several honours and has had many things named after him, including road and planes.
He died in 2010 aged 85, and his casket humorously said ‘flight recorder inventor; Do Not Open’ in a nod to the verbiage on his invention. While he is not as famous as other inventors, his work has been cited as the reason many accidents with planes are avoided in the modern-day, since many lessons have been learnt from his technology.
There is no doubt that Dave Warren is one of Australia’s most successful inventors. This is no doubt due to his humble and sincere work ethic that results in a practical and essential piece of technology.