Over the years, all new aircraft have undergone standard bird strike tests. However, in relation to the ever-increasing army of drones, such tests have not yet been provided. Specialists from the Fraunhofer German Institute for Short-Term Dynamics undertook to fill this gap.
Drone manufacturers - DJI, for example - have already developed systems that block the entry of aircraft into prohibited airspace. Another area is the creation of systems for capturing or disabling intruder drones. Even so, drones continue to cross the routes of incoming and outgoing aircraft with alarming consistency.
Drone engines and batteries were found to be the greatest danger to aircraft in a collision. Therefore, the researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute began by "firing" from a special cannon flat aluminum plates 8 mm thick, imitating the fuselage of an aircraft. The results of the shooting were recorded by a video camera.
At the same time, the projectile speed ranged from 155 to 225 m / s. The resulting dents in the plates demonstrated that an aircraft could be seriously damaged in a collision.
The next step is testing the strength of carbon fiber composites, which will be fired with projectiles weighing up to 3 kg. Also, engineers want to determine the potential damage that drones can cause to engines, windshields and the leading edges of aircraft wings. The ultimate goal of experimentation is to create a standardized test methodology for all drones.