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Smaller "drones" aren't a threat to aircraft ....

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Hughie, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. Hughie

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  2. probonic

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    I'm not entirely convinced of the equivalency of birds and drones. Birds are mostly water and mostly relatively soft. Drones are made of plastic and metal and also have LiPo batteries which are very prone to fire if punctured (and I'm pretty sure a jet engine is likely to puncture it). My bet is on 1.3kg of plastic, metal and LiPo battery doing a hell of a lot more damage than a 1.3kg bird....
     
  3. 4wd

    4wd

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    There's nothing very substantial in a phantom though.
    Even the battery would just be instantly pulverised, possibly giving some additional thrust ;)

    Getting in an engine is the only way anyone might even notice.
    It seems hard to imagine it would damage anything else, unless flown deliberately at them with some kind of explosive.
     
  4. SteveMann

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    You missed the most pertinent part of the study.
    The study adds that there are approximately 10 Billion birds.
     
  5. Fyod

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    Plus the chance that you could, even if you intended, to hit an approx. 2x2m engine intake on a giant hunk of metal travelling 300+ km/h (at low landing altitude) in an enormous airspace with a 30x30cm object are so slim, it would be amazing if it ever actually happened.
    Its like a bee getting in your mouth when you're riding on a motorcycle, which does happen, but imagine there were only a few thousand bees worldwide.
    If I understand correctly, flocks of birds at airports are dangerous for airplanes, because the chance is much higher.
     
  6. Hughie

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    Also interesting to note that there appears to be (according the wki on bird strikes) a standards test for jet engines that they have to be able to shut down safely if hit by a 1.8kg bird. Also cockpit windows need to be able to withstand 1.8kg. This could be one reason why there is not more paranoia than there is about quads around 1.5kg.

    No idea how authoritative that is, but the link is :
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird_strike
     
  7. MacCool

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    I suspect that if a passenger airliner, by some extraordinarly remote chance, did hit a 2-kilo drone, it wouldn't even leave smudge on the paint. I don't believe that Phantom drones or similar pose any significant risk to the National Airspace System, just as I think that "invasion of privacy" concerns are ridiculous, driven by paranoia-borne-of-ignorance.
     
  8. SteveMann

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    MacCool ++++1 :D
     
  9. Narrator

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    I think I'd much rather be hit by a soft squishy bird than a hard edgy quad. The latter, with its hard edges, would be far more likely to injure me. Imagine being hit in the head by the rigid end of a Phantom arm at a combined impact speed of 150kts or more. Before it broke up, that rigidity would probably punch a hole in my head.

    I'd like to think a Phantom would not be a threat to any aircraft, but until it happens we don't really know.

    On a related note, there was a bird-strike at my old aeroclub a few years back. C152 windshield was struck by a bird as the student was 3/4 of the way along the take-off roll. The student immediately pushed forward, causing the Cessna to hit the runway, damaging the nose wheel. The instructor was hit in the chest by the control wheel, breaking two or three ribs. But the aircraft was too close to the end of the runway. With the Cessna damaged and the instructor badly injured, the instructor took over and pulled the Cessna off the ground, doing one short circuit and landing with the damaged nose wheel. If it had been say a Phantom, instead of a bird, at a combined impact speed of say 100kts, I wonder how much different things would have turned out.
     
  10. MacCool

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    Uh huh. Imagine that right before getting hit in the head with the rigid end of that Phantom, you put on a helmet that is made of .25 inch thick aluminum.
     
  11. madsonp

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    I think the FAA needs to outlaw birds :lol: After all, thats what brought down the plane that landed in the Hudson.
     
  12. PhantomFanatic

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    I'm not an aviation expert but I strongly disagree with the article. Turbine blades spin at an incredible speed. Small drones, the size of small birds are not composed of the same 'ingredients." Whereas a sparrow with feathers, tissue, organs and hollow bones is quite different from a small drone's contents.

    The bigger issue is not trying to prove that small drones can be inhaled with no damage. It is that as a whole, we should refrain from being anywhere near airports and planes. If every drone pilot followed our guidelines and FAA rules, there would be no need to minimize the impact (pun intended!) of small drones to airplanes.
     
  13. Narrator

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    My words are to show how the impact of a soft squishy bird is different to the impact of a solid object. As an ex engineer, I point out that it's not the weight of an object that counts, but the force over area. A nail can enter solid wood because the force/area is significantly high, being focused at the tip. Something soft and squishy will spread their whole force over a large splatter area. But something rigid, like a Phantom will concentrate much of its force over the area of a small tip, just like a nail does, which is why it can do far greater damage than a bird. So when you say that a cockpit window can take a force of 1.8kg, is that over the whole window, or over the tiny, almost nail sized area of impact?

    To give it some perspective, let's say the tip of a Phantom arm impacts with an area of say 0.5sq-cm, and let's say an aircraft window is roughly 30x30cm (12x12in):

    1.8kg over 0.5sq-cm = 353kPa or 51psi pressure
    1.8kg over 900sq-cm = 0.2kPa or 0.03psi pressure

    So, when they say that a cockpit window can take 1.8kg, I ask over what area?
    If it's per sq-cm (a standard unit) then that's 176kPa or 25psi, which is half of what a Phantom can theoretically produce on impact, to break that window.

    edit: A bird, incidentally, if it splattered over a 10x10cm area would have the force of 1.8kPa or 0.25psi. No biggy huh.
     
  14. GoodnNuff

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    Careful Narrator...

    There are more than a few on here who will argue that a Phantom hitting you in the head will leave a bruise, cause a small laceration at worst, and since nobody has been hospitalized from a drone accident yet, this alone is proof of how benign a drone is. So don't expect them to consider the reality that a drone hitting a plane could potentially cause great harm.

    I happen to agree with you however. But I'm afraid until it happens, many will never believe it possible.
     
  15. Narrator

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    hehe.. I can well imagine..
    Though I doubt anyone has been hit by a drone at a combined impact speed of 150 or 200kts.
    The difference is like a hammer tap vs a hammer blow.
     
  16. Meta4

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    Having seen how thick airliner windshields are, I'd guess they can easily handle hitting a Phantom at speed.
    Light aircraft and helicopters are a different matter but they are not going to be traveling at such high velocities either.

    The article makes some good points. Planes are exposed to potential birdstrikes all the time and they manage to deal with this risk pretty well. Their exposure to recreational drones is miniscule by comparison.
    Birdstrike data shows that birds (and we could guess Phantoms) don't always cause fatal crashes. Not all strikes are in the windshield or engine area - only a small percentage are.
    Only a tiny percentage of reported birdstrikes cause any damage at all and the number unreported must be very large.

    People tend to concentrate on the potential consequences of a worst case scenario and completely ignore how very low the probability of such an event is.
     
  17. garrock

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    About the video put up... I used to work at the Peebles Ohio jet engine test site location years ago.

    The countless hours of safely wiring bolt heads... whew.
    Setting up a test for weeks just to run an few hours of tests.
    Lots of testing going on to ensure those engines are highly reliable.

    I am more of a utilitarian: 30,000 people die each year from car related accidents. Why do we as people allow just anyone to still drive a car ??? We have personal and commercial drivers license and that is it.. pitiful. There should be a far more skilled and qualified personal driver license issued. But no. Why Not ???

    If one plane goes down every 20 years due to a drone strike... we are talking about 200 to 300 people. But we still have to ask about the overall benefit to society. We have a legal system to compensate people over such things.
     
  18. derrickduff

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    The carcass can't even be recognized as a horse, yet you continue to go at it. I believe you will actually be happy when a fatal accident does happen just so you can say I told you so. So sad, so sad.
     
  19. HailStorm

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    WTF is this in reference to? I don't see any carcass, no horse, and nothing being beaten. The guy makes one post - and you go asshat over it?
    You just trolling for confrontations?
     
  20. mendezl

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    Re: Smaller "drones" aren't a thread to aircraft ....

    Mythbusters time... they should fly a drone into a jet injine and shoot one at a plane.