24 May '15, 6am

What Might Happen If an Airliner Hit a Small Drone via @IEEESpectrum

What Might Happen If an Airliner Hit a Small Drone via @IEEESpectrum

In January, I wrote about a study from the failure-analysis company Exponent that examined the threat very small drones—ones of just a kilogram or two—could pose to aircraft if there were a collision. That study did so by looking at the kinds of damage done by birds of similar mass. Some of the people who read that post responded that it glossed over the differences in composition between drones and birds, suggesting that drones, with their many metal parts and lithium-ion batteries, would be inherently more damaging. That seemed a fair critique to me, so I contacted George Morse, an expert on foreign-object damage to aircraft, to get his opinion. Morse’s company, Failure Analysis Service Technology , based in Prescott, Ariz., specializes in the analysis of aviation mishaps, foreign-object damage in particular. Morse himself has done more than 4000 engine investigations, m...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/aerial-robots...

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