Before there were CDs and DVDs, many computers relied on floppy disks to store data. You would assume that such technology would have died out already, especially given in this day and age where everything is becoming more digital, but it turns out that might not be the case, at least for Boeing’s 747-400 aircrafts.
Thanks to the researchers at Pen Test Partners, they managed to get access to a British Airways 747 plane where they then took a look at the fll avionics bay beneath the passenger deck that might not necessarily be available for public viewing. This is where various components of the plane are housed, and during their inspection, they found a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive in the cockpit that holds important navigation databases.
These databases are required to be updated every 28 days, and to do so, an engineer would need to visit these planes physically and load as many as eight floppy disks during their visits as these databases are getting bigger. While it might sound extremely outdated, Boeing’s 747-400 planes aren’t the only ones that still rely on this outdated form of technology.
This is because while outdated, they still work and there really isn’t necessarily a great need to change them. For example several years ago, it was discovered that a computer made in the 1980s was still being used to control a school’s heating system.