The University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) has published a video showing the damage caused by a consumer drone when it strikes the wing of a fixed-wing aircraft.
he test simulated life-like conditions, the end result mimicking the collision of a quadcopter with the wing of an aircraft at 383km/h (238mph).
Despite weighing only 952g (2.1lbs), the drone tore a large hole in the wing, ultimately causing damage to its main spar. UDRI’s group leader for impact physics Kevin Poormon said in a university release that the drone caused “significant damage” to the structure.
The team also compared the impact of a drone with the damage a similar-sized bird would cause. Worry not, no birds were harmed – a gel projectile was used to simulate the impact.
The results showed that a bird would crush the leading edge of the wing. But unlike the drone, the bird wouldn’t cause any internal damage.