Risk in the Sky?

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Stephen Mann : This video proves absolutely nothing. You can throw, at 200 MPH, anything weighing 2 pounds at a sheet of 2024-O .04" aluminum, typical of aircraft wings, and get this damage. I've seen worse hail damage. Plus, you can't see the wing spar in this video, so why is there a conclusion of spar damage? This "test" was a waste of time and material as it is atypical of possible real world events. It appears that this demonstration was designed to heighten anti-drone paranoia. Typically, no aircraft below 400 ft., where most drones operate, will be flying that fast. On final approach most airliners are flying between 130 to 160 knots, and by the time a landing aircraft is below 500 ft. the flaps and slats are deployed and the A/C is probably going 120 knots. General aviation aircraft, like the Mooney in this video, are typically flying between 70-110 knots on final approach. Even slower on takeoff. If the purpose of this video is to somehow "prove" that a drone is going to take down an airliner, know that the Mooney wing uses a thinner aluminum (0.038") than an airliner (0.04 to 0.05"). This made the Mooney lighter and faster, which was a marketing design. I've had more than a few bird strikes during landing (none during takeoff that I was aware of). Some were Canadian geese that weigh 10-15 pounds. There was never any damage to the aircraft beyond cleaning up the bird guts from the wing. Ingesting a small bird is a non-event, and the pilot probably wouldn't know there was a bird strike. Larger birds can damage the engine, but no single bird ingestion has ever brought down a multi-engine airliner. And no personal drone has ever caused a civil aviation crash.

Drone Watcher : What is really worrying is the damage that wing caused to the drone!

Bert Osterberg : The test was done at twice the velocity that even bird strikes were performed. The plane wouldn’t achieve that speed unless it was in a nosedive and headed to a fatal crash. All other crash tests were at half the speed performed by everyone else, even the government. Dayton could be held liable for singling out DJI with falsified data designed to damage their business

Gregg Kemp : Why isn't Hillary Clinton in prison?

Eric Jaakkola : Who's going to be flying 250 mph at less than 400 feet?

Otter Tail Channel : Pretty cool how they propelled that drone with no propellers.

Michael Davidson : We all understand your point, you fly near airports or at dangerous altitudes, you should get prosecuted! But drones are just as dangerous as SWANS, GOOSE & EAGLES. Google in images "a damaging bird strike" and see what the bird can do to an airplane. The point is, drones are getting smaller and lighter. DJI along with FAA are already implementing a system that would track and trace drones down to their serial numbers if you are flying near airports. There is already a great number of restrictions on flying drones. So instead of spreading fear, maybe try naming your article something like "Impact of a drone against a tiny plane's wing"

RYCOP FPV : Not much actual 'Risk in the Sky' if you fact check. To start with, the test scenario is extremely unlikely to the point of being contrived. The odds are extremely small for a drone to be high enough to meet a plane flying at that speed or for a plane to be going that speed where drones are likely to be flying. Despite that, it's interesting to note that the video shows no evidence of catastrophic damage to the plane's wing, meaning that the wing in this video is not shown to be at a clear risk of failure. For context it's probably worth mentioning that there has been a grand total of three drone/aircraft collisions worldwide thus far and that in all instances the aircraft were flyable after each incident. Not to mention that there have been zero documented fatalities or life threatening injuries caused by civilian operated drones ever, under any circumstances. In terms of 'Risk in the Sky' aircraft are a much bigger danger to other aircraft than UAVs are. Based on documented evidence on collisions between aircraft and aircraft/UAV collisions, and even if we throw out all evidence older than two or so years old to 'level the playing field' it's abundantly clear that collisions between aircraft are both more likely to occur and more likely to pose a risk of fatality or life threatening injury than collisions between aircraft and UAVs. That's before getting into all of the other causes of air crashes, which are manifold. Just some simple facts, which anyone is free to check (or dispute) themselves on Wikipedia.

Геннадий Дёмкин : it means the quadcopter is breaking the plane, right? I conclude from this that it can destroy a building. we all remember 9.11 infuriating the lie of the rulers

RCnerd74 : The solution is simple. Don't fly your drone where full scale planes are flying...

Werner - bugre_FPV : Dear @University of Dayton Why is the bird impact test not on the same video so we also could compare and see it? Please share it and also add it to your press release. Why was the drone so perfectly aligned, that the front arms penetrated as nails into the wing of the Mooney20? In real "live" what is the chance that a drone is flying totally leveled and aligned to the wing's inclination ? Why had the drone no props on? Maybe to avoid that it would change the drone's trajectory/deflecting it ? How did you simulate the air pressure that travels in front of an aircraft that also would impact the drone's collision trajectory?

John Bianco : Why not launch a bowling ball at a wing? This test proves nothing, only that an object travelling at high velocity striking another causes damage.....great job, I think we have craters in the earth that already proved that. A bird strike, RC plane strike, a drone strike or even...and more likely impact with another plane is a threat to anything in the sky. If the purpose was to show what someone with ill intent could potentially do then point made. But they could potentially use any object or even a laser pointer to potentially cause harm to a plane/ plane operation. People observing proper safety and flight protocols are no threat to passenger planes in the air, take off or landing. This video at best is fear mongering.

Jeff Session : This is why pilots need to maintain proper altitudes

Underwhere5 : A drone did that to the wing? I thought they were sturdy enough to go thru buildings???

David Newmon : Surprised to see so many people defending the drone. Duck bones squash and squirt. The drone is more dense. Also, the battery could very likely start a fire in the fuel tanks inside the wing. Lithium battery fires are all but impossible to distinguish.

Kamon23 : Consumer drones generally do not fly that high. I mean birds would cause the same sometimes worse damage.

Florian Crazzi : WTF , Such a Piss Weak plane did cut Steel columns at world trade center and punch Holes in all tree rings of the Pentagram . . . . WOW

Restricted User Mode : This should be considered fraudulent and tagged as scaremongering, but sales for this video have just maxed out with the fake news being presented at Gatwick.

SmartestManSays : Now consider an aluminum wing sliced through steel and concrete on 911! Har har har har har har har har har. But we all saw in on the toob!!! Har har har.

Kalle Braun : Das geht nur mit einem Plastikflieger, würde man zentimeterdicken Stahl, wie bei den Stahlträger in den Zwillingstürmen, verwenden so würde der zentimeterdicke Stahl von dem Flugzeugflügel einfach durchschnitten werden.

Trent Cox : This is a bunch of bs. Test was conducted inconsistent to testing standards and should be removed or footnoted. Can’t believe a university allowed this to be posted.

ABMNS PRODUCTION : Damn, so imagine what a bird can do since they are far away more heavy than most average consumer multirotors. What was the speed of quadcopter by the way, it looks pretty damn fast, i imagine it was supposed to replicate the real speed of a full size aircraft. What kind of aircraft that wing belongs to? What material? Please you are an university, educate your audiance, give us more scientific informations...

ray lang : A bird strike does the same kind of damage.

M Campbell : People have good points here, but the video has a larger point which is detailed in the article that is linked in the description of the video. Just sayin'

doigal12345 : Remind me again what the birdstrike requirement is for CS-23 airframe?

Ian P : I don't have a problem with the video and what it portrays. If people are dumb enough to fly drones near aeroplanes or at a height that aeroplanes/helicopters can collide with them then they deserve everything they get. What I do have a problem with is how this always seems to be portrayed as 'every drone pilot'. Licensing drones/pilots will not alleviate the problem, as if they are going to fly illegally high in the first instance, they are highly unlikely to have a license/permission to fly. Why is this seen as the magic wand? What we do need is for there to be a way of tracing ownership on drones sold so that if there is a problem, the finger points clearly in the direction of the perpetrators and action can be taken. There are far more responsible drone pilots out there than there are other less responsible pilots. Please don't tar everyone with the same brush.

Sabre22 : Unless it causes a fuel leak and subsequent fire. A drone strike on a appears to be survivable. However what about an engine swallowing a drone with gas powered engines. Or a strike on the cockpit glass with a small explosive charge .

pimpciak : Put a bumper on that sucker ;p

blancolirio : Thanks for posting! Good research. Now it would be interesting to put all the aerodynamic forces on the wing and see how it holds up. Or maybe do a sandbag load test on this damaged wing...

William Silva : What were the test conditions? Drone weight? Speed of impact? What is the strength of the wing material? Thanks!

MrLunithy : catastrophic' risk to flights ?????? when were what? New figures show pilots at Australian airports have spotted hundreds of drones in restricted airspace in the past two-and-a-half years lol as a former flyer you cant see them no confirmation fear mongering FROM abc THERE AT ALL not!!!

M Scion : A bird strike is just as deadly as a standard drone. Well considering the amount of birds flying around airports not to mention everywhere why aren't commercial aircraft grounded everywhere just as has happened at Gatwick over a (supposed) drone sighting. They have contingency measures for birds around airports so why not drones. This video proves that the producers are extremely biased as there is not enough information provided regarding the setup and overall findings of the experiment, totally unacceptable in any scientific test. There is a concerted effort by all governments to control flying cameras, I'll leave the why to your own imagination. The vast majority of model aircraft pilots are sensible and responsible. Over legislation/Regulation will only incur expense and inconvenience for them. Idiots and criminals will continue to ignore and circumvent any and all efforts to stop them which is why a reasonable response from governments is required not kneejerk pandering to the general public and airlines. The best response will be to apply heavy punishment to offenders as with all other forms of crime. Many people die from kitchen knife attacks but they don't talk about banning and registration for kitchen knives.

Tom Lemm : So what happened to the front spar? Did the drone penetrate into the fuel tank? The damage to the skin wouldn't take out an airliner, but if it penetrated the spar, that could be a different story... Also, that LE skin looks awfully thin to be an airliner wing LE. It looks to be a private aircraft wing, and thus the velocity of the drone was way too high for this to be a good test..

F. W. : And what about that guy who was flying in his house connected to a thousand baloons? How much damage would that create?

Veluwe-Zoomrr : Off-world theoretical tests by scientists in their tower, to exacerbate damage which will never happen. What happens here is drone bashing at its finest, which will most likely never ever happen. A plane much likelier gets a bird strike or hail. A) Most small private aircraft fly between 60 to 120 mph, maybe 150 mph. B) If you do have a faster plane, you dont fly fast at the low altitudes where drones usually fly and are allowed to fly. That is: Drones at 100m (328ft). Airplanes between GND and airfield departure/approach patterns 300-600m (1000-2000ft). The Money will reach the tested speed at 1600m, so highly unlikely C) The Money M20 is a rather uncommon type, why not a Cesna 172? because the speed is too slow? D) To make it an unambiguous test, you should make a comparison, also use a bird carcass or an ice block with the same weight and make it a split-screen video. Why not test a likely practical "possible" scenario?

Nextdoor's cats called Charlie. Meeowww : I checked out the written article attached,....but couldn,t see THE SPEED you sent the Phantom into the leading edge of the fragile Mooney M20.(Most British people are only worried about drones hitting proper modern aircraft,you know,BIG ones,stuff that they actually fly on)=Commercial airliners.HOW ABOUT A PROPER TEST ON SAY AN AIRBUS A320 FOR EXAMPLE(e.g a common,everyday plane)?????🤗

Craig Issod : This is a worst case "suggestion" which will hopefully boost some more real-world testing. Hopefully the financing is in place. If it wasn't for 100's of people bragging on YT and elsewhere that they fly vastly higher than 4-500 feet, we wouldn't have as much to worry about. But they do. So we do. Also, what happens if a heavier drone is sucked into a private jet engine at even 150 knts on landing? I hardly think we need to test that scenario since destruction of the engine seems almost a sure thing. The remaining question would be how the particular plane and engine react (is there a fire, explosion, etc.). Remember, the odds the great recession happening were incredibly tiny. The odds of the election of GW (3,000 jews in Palm Beach County voting for a Holocaust denier) were something like 2 in five billion. "Against all odds" is something that happens quite often, which is why testing is usually to the worst possible case - or even worse than that. That is how you know the limits.

Alvin Dickens : I wonder if one we're to fire the same type drone into a modern car at the same speeds involved in aviation would convince the average person of the dangers involved. They could relate to that better than seeing an aircraft structure experience sunch an impact. If they see what it would do to a automobile made up of more steel, maybe they could understand what it would do to an aluminum/composition structure.

Wilhelm Taylor : Like we really need just one more thing to endanger commercial air travel. After many years the airlines have learned to overcome many of the dangers inherent in air travel but how do you deal with this one? I can see ISIS getting ideas.

rontz : Speaking about a bird: where's the part with the bird? And how is the wing of a little 4-seated plane comparing to a commercial transport aircraft's leading edge structure? Doesn't seem like a video made for research-pusposes, but made for making afraid of drones.

Kyle : Aircraft move forward a drone isn't going to catch up with the back of a wingtip then crash into it. It's not even needed to do any kind of test because the damage they do is equivalent of a bird strike and there is more birds in the sky then drones. Let's be honest this isn't research the government wants to do more tests so they can ban drones completely from flying because they know they can be used as weapons

William Dye : Yes, the speed is much higher than what one would expect in a typical real-world drone strike, but that does not make the test a publicity scam. Structural engineers often test materials at extremes as well as typical cases. Same for software testing (my own field). Sooner or later even the edge cases will occur in the real world, so it makes sense to run a controlled test to find out what to expect.

Edymnion : Except that you threw a drone at the wing of a small aircraft at speeds which it would never realistically occur. If we want to mock up imaginary scenarios that won't actually happen, I'm sure we could get the Mythbusters to shoot a chicken through a tank if we gave them enough budget.

Andrew McLellan : Drone pilots should not be flying in restricted areas but the University of Dayton video is actually really embarrassing for the University. They should be committed to good science and not fear mongering for publicity. They should be reviewing realistic speeds and determining risks and probabilities of mid air collisions from multiple causes for a realistic comparison. I would categorize this video as anti-science.

Monolith Fan : So basicly you launched a drone with a rocket blast into an airplane wing. A BOOK thrown at the right velocity can go THROUGH the ENTIRE BODY of a plane at the right speed.

The Photographer : And in DJI's objection letter to the video, I stopped reading when I got to here..."I represent DJI, the world's largest manufacturer of toys"..... :D xD But I do agree that these toys are build like boat anchors and wow, that plane caught the evidence!!

William Alexander : Reminds me of the testing after the Columbia accident where they fired foam at Space Shuttle Leading edge heat shield tiles. At high impact speeds it doesn't require a lot of weight to cause a lot of damage.

upper cut : Two questions for the University of Dayton. One: Please explain how a drone can create so much damage, yet on 9/11 the cough, Aircraft cut through the buildings like a hot knife through butter. Two: Explain how an Airbus A380 can carry 240 Tons of fuel in it's wings.... See theres Bs & then theres a Bs detector.

CineTechGeek : This is irrelevant. A large bird would do exactly the same thing. This is over hyped info to justify unrealistic restrictions.. Large birds are far more common the drones and also have incidents like this. It is extremely unlikely to bring a plane down.

George Menaxas : dubai pizza drones near airports?