Study Reveals that Drone Strikes Produce More Damage to Planes Than Birds

A study has discovered that drones that hit planes produce more damage than birds with the similar size due to their batteries, solid motors, and other parts.

Researchers say that standards that are designed to reduce damage from bird strikes are inappropriate for making sure that planes can be able to withstand collisions with drones.

The US Federal Aviation Authority released the said report.

In simulated collisions between drones that range from 2.7 to 8lbs (1.2 to 3.6kg) and business jets and common airliners, researchers discovered that some drones would have punctured the skin of the plane.

The devices caused more damage compared to a plane hitting a bird of the same speed and size because components of drones are much stiffer as birds are mostly composed of water.

The study was done by researchers from Montana State University, Mississippi State University, Wichita State University, and Ohio State University. The FAA said that studies over the next three years would examine the severity of collisions between drones and other kinds of planes and helicopters.

In the United States, the FAA estimates that around 2.3 million drones will be purchased for recreational use in 2017, and the number is anticipated to grow in the future. Many other drones are utilised for commercial purposes including the inspection of power lines, mobile phone towers, and pipelines, and news photography.

The FAA said that it would rely on drone makers to assist in developing technology to detect and dodge planes.

In the United Kingdom, the Department for Transport in July revealed plans to launch a drone registration system following a research that discovered that the devices could break plane windscreens.

In October, 18 near-misses that involved balloons, drones, or other objects were reported to a meeting of the Airprox Board of the United Kingdom.