Drone collisions 'worse than bird strikes for planes'

From BBC - December 5, 2017

A US study into drone safety has suggested that collisions with aircraft are more damaging than bird strikes.

It said current aircraft manufacturing standards are not appropriate for the growth in drone use but stopped short of saying such hits could be fatal.

The US Federal Aviation Authority said it will work with drone-makers to develop technology to detect and avoid planes.

It estimated there will be 2.3 million drones in use by the end of this year.

The FAA study recreated a collision between a drone and an aeroplane using a computer simulation.

Models of two types of drone - the DJI Phantom 3 Standard quadcopter and a fixed-wing Precision Hawk Lancaster Hawkeye III were used.

A team of researchers from four universities conducted the research, using drones weighing 2.7lb to 8lb (1.2kg to 3.6kg).

The tests, conducted over 14 months, considered 140 scenarios, including the risk of a battery fire after a crash.

It concluded that airborne collisions could introduce "a significant economic burden" to aircraft operators, due to downtime and repairs.

Complex field


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