After bird hits, aviation experts are now confronting the impact another threat to airplanes – drones. A recent experiment by the University of Dayton Research Institute has revealed in devastating detail the damage a drone hit could do to a plane.
The scientists released a video of a midair collision of a drone with an aeroplane wing at 238 mph. They noted that the drone did not shatter on impact, but tore open the leading edge of the plane wing and damaged the spar, which is its main structural member.
“We’ve performed bird-strike testing for 40 years, and we’ve seen the kind of damage birds can do,” Kevin Poormon, group leader for impact physics at the institute, said in a statement. “Drones are similar in weight to some birds, and so we’ve watched with growing concern as reports of near collisions have increased.”