Researchers from the University of Dayton, Ohio, have conducted a controlled trial to demonstrate the damage wayward drones can inflict on airplanes.
We know this isn’t always the most popular topic with readers (because it apparently brings negative attention towards drones and their owners) but it is important to highlight some of the dangers associated with moronic drone behavior.
The footage released by the university shows a popular DJI Phantom 2 colliding into a wing from a Mooney M20, four-seater aircraft.
The collision, which was designed to simulate a midair crash between a drone and plane was carried out at 238 miles an hour (383 kmph).
In the initial regular speed footage, the crash impact is so fast, your eye can barely detect the drone. Once they switch to the super slow-mo footage however, the drone and the impact it causes is far easier to see.
The Phantom 2 weighs around 2.1 pounds (950 grams). The testing shows the drone slamming directly into the edge of the wing. As it makes impact it crumbles but remains intact as it goes inside the wing.
Group Leader for Impact Physics at the University of Dayton said: “We wanted 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.”
Airports around the world already spend significant money on preventing bird strike, which have on occasion caused passenger jets to crash. They are now investing in devices like drone killers or frequency disrupts to prevent drones from getting too close to runways. We’re happy to report that at the point of writing there have been no serious incidents between drones and commercial aircraft.
Although the plane used as a subject for this test is significantly smaller than any commercial passenger jet, the video demonstrates that even small drones have the capacity to cause a large amount of damage to a wing. For this reason, we must remain vigilant, obey local drone regulations and report people who illegally fly in close proximity to airports to authorities.