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ro1960
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Drone collision test (video)

Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:31 pm

The University of Dayton Research Institute's impact physics lab carried a collision test. Pretty scary! Nearly 800 incidents have been reported by pilots between April and June 2018 alone!

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/watch-what-happens-when-drone-smashes-airplane-wing-ncna920346
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United787
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:10 pm

That is scary as sheet. They talk about the spar damage in the wing but I am wondering about the fuel tanks. Could an impact like that rupture a fuel tank causing an instant explosion?
 
DeltaRules
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:17 pm

I work with one of the schools involved in the project and had heard this experiment had happened- interesting to see the final results get national attention.
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micstatic
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:39 pm

they claim that the mooney wing/spar is of similar strength or thickness to an airliner. I'm scratching my head on that. Not saying this isn't shocking, but I would like to see some verification of that statement.
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nikeherc
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:49 pm

I think that it is also important to note that the drone was fired at a speed of 238 miles per hour. That's a high speed for a small plane at low altitude. What would have happened to an airliner wing with its leading edge devices? Not saying that there is no danger, but this reminds me of the test where they fed saccharin to rats at rates that would equate to hundreds of pounds per week to humans. You can design tests to get the results that you want.
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NYPECO
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:55 pm

Firing a drone at 238 mph seems a little fast for a Mooney.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:04 pm

nikeherc wrote:
I think that it is also important to note that the drone was fired at a speed of 238 miles per hour. That's a high speed for a small plane at low altitude. What would have happened to an airliner wing with its leading edge devices? Not saying that there is no danger, but this reminds me of the test where they fed saccharin to rats at rates that would equate to hundreds of pounds per week to humans. You can design tests to get the results that you want.

I agree with you, especially the last 2 sentences.

However, keep in mind the Mooney M20V has a max cruise speed of 242 kts (278 MPH) and that the DJI Phantom 2 used in the experiment has a max speed of 15 m/s (33.5 MPH). So, theoretically, the 2 could have collided at a differential speed of 311.5 MPH, a whopping 30% over than the actual test.

While the test (and the results) might have been "tweaked" to be more dramatic, the results are indeed valid and worrying.

As the article mentioned, nothing catastrophic has happened... yet. I'm sure it's just a matter of time until it does, and the knee-jerk reaction at that time will catch everybody by surprise.
The careless drone operators are playing with fire.
 
Redwood839
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:20 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
nikeherc wrote:
I think that it is also important to note that the drone was fired at a speed of 238 miles per hour. That's a high speed for a small plane at low altitude. What would have happened to an airliner wing with its leading edge devices? Not saying that there is no danger, but this reminds me of the test where they fed saccharin to rats at rates that would equate to hundreds of pounds per week to humans. You can design tests to get the results that you want.

I agree with you, especially the last 2 sentences.

However, keep in mind the Mooney M20V has a max cruise speed of 242 kts (278 MPH) and that the DJI Phantom 2 used in the experiment has a max speed of 15 m/s (33.5 MPH). So, theoretically, the 2 could have collided at a differential speed of 311.5 MPH, a whopping 30% over than the actual test.

While the test (and the results) might have been "tweaked" to be more dramatic, the results are indeed valid and worrying.

As the article mentioned, nothing catastrophic has happened... yet. I'm sure it's just a matter of time until it does, and the knee-jerk reaction at that time will catch everybody by surprise.
The careless drone operators are playing with fire.


As a Mooney pilot, I can tell you that I wouldn't be flying it at 242 kts at any height this thing can reach, I mean, realistically what tops out at 5K? Most airliners will probably do below 200 Kts on take off and climbing.

The risk is real, I've seen drones while on approach, but this was highly exaggerated

Wonder how they managed to get the drone going at 230?
 
Deltabravo1123
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:24 pm

This test might have been done on a small prop-plane wing, causing people to say the results might look exaggerated. However, smaller jets like CRJs, ERJs, and E-jets must have smaller, thinner, and more vulnerable wings as compared to larger Boeing and Airbus aircraft. So if something like this were to happen, the smaller passenger jets would most likely have a more devastating impact than larger passenger planes. Especially if these jets are naturally going much faster than the differential speed of 311 mph mentioned previously.

I'd love for an airline or manufacturer to donate a jet engine so someone can run an ingestion experiment with a drone.
 
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ro1960
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:36 pm

The purpose of the test is not to draw conclusion on specific drone models or aircraft models. It is to "help the aviation community and the drone industry understand the dangers that even recreational drones can pose to manned aircraft before a significant event occurs".

A more detailed blog article is available on the University's web site :

https://udayton.edu/blogs/udri/18-09-13-risk-in-the-sky.php
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spacecadet
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:10 pm

Redwood839 wrote:
Most airliners will probably do below 200 Kts on take off and climbing.

The risk is real, I've seen drones while on approach, but this was highly exaggerated

Wonder how they managed to get the drone going at 230?


Chicken gun? Anyway, this isn't about a drone going 230mph into a stationary wing, this is about two objects hitting each other in flight at closing speed. Some people don't seem to be getting that.

btw, the speed limit under 10,000 feet is 250 knots, but airliners routinely travel at 240-250 in that airspace both on climb and descent, and that's about 280mph.

Also, that's *air speed*, and what matters in closing speed is *ground speed*, which increases with altitude at a given air speed. That's another important factor that some people seem to be overlooking. The speed in this test seems conservative to me.
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Erebus
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:37 am

United787 wrote:
That is scary as sheet. They talk about the spar damage in the wing but I am wondering about the fuel tanks. Could an impact like that rupture a fuel tank causing an instant explosion?


Wondering the same. Ignition may be possible by damaged battery parts.
 
DrRumack
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:41 am

It's been a long time since I was in school and put thought into this kind of experiment, but I think this study is useless.

In the experiment a drone was shot directly at the leading edge of the wing. In a real world scenario the airplane (and the wing) would be traveling through the air at a couple of hundred miles an hour. The speed of the drone would probably be inconsequential. Once the plane approaches the drone, the lightweight drone (2 lbs/0.9 kg) would be displaced along with the air traveling above or below the wing. While there might be some slight contact, the drone would not hit the leading edge of the wing and would not penetrate it.

This doesn't address the problem of an engine intaking a drone, but I don't think a 2 pound drone would be worse that a 6 lb bird.
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:35 am

DrRumack wrote:
In the experiment a drone was shot directly at the leading edge of the wing. In a real world scenario the airplane (and the wing) would be traveling through the air at a couple of hundred miles an hour. The speed of the drone would probably be inconsequential.


Huh? It doesn't matter whose speed we're talking about. The two objects are closing at a given speed, whether it was the drone or the airplane that contributed most does not matter much.

DrRumack wrote:
Once the plane approaches the drone, the lightweight drone (2 lbs/0.9 kg) would be displaced along with the air traveling above or below the wing. While there might be some slight contact, the drone would not hit the leading edge of the wing and would not penetrate it.


Perhaps. But I think we've seen many bird strikes on different parts of airplanes. From a Finnish research report:

According to earlier studies by Transport Canada (2004), 15% of birds hit the aircraft nose. The wings and the engines both sustain about 13% of bird hits. The aircraft fuselage gets 11% of the bird strikes and the landing gear about 9%.


(Source: https://www.trafi.fi/filebank/a/1415198 ... eports.pdf, page 4)

DrRumack wrote:
This doesn't address the problem of an engine intaking a drone, but I don't think a 2 pound drone would be worse that a 6 lb bird.


Maybe. There's some metal and harder plastic parts than in a bird, but it is true that most *small* drones are more lightweight. Then again, I've seen people fly drones carrying SLRs ... may not be true of all drones.
 
nikeherc
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:41 pm

Drones are here to stay. We need to be working on ways to deconflict our airspace. I don’t want to see drone/aircraft collisions or downplay the dangers of such incidents. I do think that this exercise has little to do with reality, however. Perhaps all drones should be required to carry corner reflectors or little tiny transponders. Sounds silly, maybe, but it might help.
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BlueSky1976
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:51 pm

Maybe the solution should be to equip airports with commercial traffic with "drone killer" devices to keep the perimeter safe for aircraft on departure and approach patterns? This way any unauthorized UAV would be instantly disabled and eliminated. And the idiot who flies it there would learn the hard way to stay away in the future, hopefully...
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Erebus
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:03 pm

BlueSky1976 wrote:
Maybe the solution should be to equip airports with commercial traffic with "drone killer" devices to keep the perimeter safe for aircraft on departure and approach patterns? This way any unauthorized UAV would be instantly disabled and eliminated. And the idiot who flies it there would learn the hard way to stay away in the future, hopefully...


Something like this?

https://www.space.com/37542-navy-laser-weapon-blasts-drones.html

This particular one is a little pricey though. Maybe give it some time and we'll see cheaper ones come through.
 
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CARST
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:50 pm

There are multiple company working on anti-drone drones. They usually shoot the rogue drones out of the sky with a net. Or catch the rogue drones inflight with a very light net, bringing it back to the authorities to identify the person owning the drone.

I think the future will see all airports, power plants, military bases and other important structures equipped with these anti-drone vehicles, by air or land. The morons flying their drones close to airports will suffer, I'm sure.


And seeing this trend going on, and seeing the so called "drone pilots" defend their hobby here and at other places, ignoring all danger, wll lead to a fatal crash at one point. Which then will lead to a massive political reaction, perhaps limiting the sale of drones or perhaps just making transponders with the option of overriding the remote controls mandatory. When an airplane get's into real danger from a drone, there will be a reaction. And all drone hobby pilots will suffer, because of a few idiots.


Regarding the test:
Absolutely realistic, the speed is up to what most small planes and airliners fly below FL100 and a damage like that to a wing tank could have serious consequences. People saying the wind will take care of a crash not happening like this are the ones who never looked how an airliners looked after flying into a flock of geese, with the bodies of the birds being stuck in the radar dome, slats, moving parts of the wing, etc.

Image

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Inside a cockpit:
Image

Inside a C-130:
Image

Damage to the leading edge of a TAM F27 in 2013 (after first striking the prop, and then being smashed into the wing):
Image

Most birds shown might be a bit bigger and heavier than most drones hobbyists fly, but in relation to the size, drones are heavier. And drones carry flamable Lithium batteries and hard plastics, unlike birds out of flesh and feathers.
 
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usxguy
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:53 pm

lets not forget the gol Boeing & Embraer Legacy incident... a fiberglass winglet tore right thru a wing!
xx
 
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Francoflier
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:32 pm

But, did they thaw the drone before launching it?

:duck:
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trpmb6
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Re: Drone collision test (video)

Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:58 pm

There are some issues with this test, notably the air speed is a bit high but conservative.

My main issue is their conclusion. This isn't going to bring a plane down folks. Spars are designed to be fail safe, so even if you penetrated the web the load will redistribute and can take up to regulatory limit loads. You'll be able to land.

Do I think we should be testing/handling this from a regulatory/compliance side of things? Yes. But I think we are basically covered by existing bird strike requirements.

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