For many decades the University of Dayton Research Institute has been at the forefront of aircraft destructive impact testing for the purpose of improving aircraft design and safety. Historically much of this testing has been focused on quantifying damage resulting from bird strike events but now important data is being collected on what actually happens when a commonly available drone strikes an aircraft at cruising speeds.

With millions of drones now out in the wild this data will help answer questions regarding a manned aircraft’s ability to survive a direct impact from a drone and how this may differ from bird impact damage. Hopefully such data will emphasize the need to educate all drone owners why flying near airports and above 400 feet can create a significant hazard to passenger aircraft. Hobbyists and recreational drone owners pose the greatest risk due to being unfamiliar with guidelines for safely operating drones in the National Airspace.

The risk to aircraft safety posed by birds will without question continue to dwarf any risks posed by drones due to their exponentially larger number in the skies above. Click on the link below for details regarding how this groundbreaking testing was conducted.

UDRI Drone Impact Testing

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