Hitting a Bird Less Damaging to Aircraft Than Drone of Same Size

When it comes to in-air collisions, it’s better to hit a bird than a drone.That’s the conclusion released Tuesday by researchers who used computer simulations to look at what happens when a small unmanned aircraft system, i.e. a drone, and an airplane hit.

“Drones that collide with large manned aircraft can cause more structural damage than birds of the same weight for a given impact speed,” the Federal Aviation Administration said in a release.

While birds are soft mass and tissue, most drones are made rigid, with stiffer components including the motor, battery, and payload, capable of causing the most damage. Concentrating those harder parts on the drone can also cause greater damage, researchers found.




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