Apple iPod takes off as flight data recorder

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Apple iPod takes off as flight data recorder

White box becomes a black box.

US light aircraft manufacturer LoPresti SpeedMerchants wants to use an Apple iPod as a flight data recorder for its Fury aircraft. 

The aviation company believes that using the iPod's large storage capacity with the correct software could allow for the storage of over 500 hours of flight data.

LoPresti plans to fully integrate the iPod into the Fury's avionics systems using the patented iPod Dock Connector port on the bottom of the device.

R J Siegel, vice president of operations at LoPresti, said: "This is the perfect marriage of a consumer product and the aviation market.

"The iPod has an ideal product spec for aviation. It is light and small, with very low power requirements and a simple interface."

Flight data recorders, or 'black boxes', are used to collect information to be reviewed after flights for maintenance purposes or for analysis in training and safety monitoring.

As these recorders are also a vital source of information in crash investigations, there is some concern that the iPod is not robust enough to withstand such an impact, especially if the iPod model uses a hard drive rather than Flash memory.

"This is a watershed technology for aviation and we are delighted to be the first to bring it to market," continued Siegel.

He added that the Fury will prove that the system works and that, once certified, the iPod could be deployed on other light aircraft.
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