What Happens When a Drone Hits an Airplane Wing

In this recent study conducted by researchers at the university of Dayton, a Phantom II drone (popular hobbyist drone) was launched into the wing of a GA aircraft at 238 mph. The results were shocking.

The drone punctured the leading edge of the wing and continued until the entire drone was inside the wing. See the screenshot below:

In my opinion, drones are even more dangerous to aircraft than birds because they have sharper, moving parts that can puncture the wing. The drone in this test was only launched to 238 mph, while a commercial aircraft would impact the drone at a much higher speed than that.

What are your thoughts?


Wow that’s interesting
If the U.S goes to war,let’s get those suckers to take down some fighters lol


Well, the plane would prob not go down for like, 10 minutes? So there go 100$ on the drone. Lol

I worked at an airport on the flight line when I was younger there was a guy that took off for a night flight. When he returned the aircraft (rental) it had similar damage to it as the photos but with out the drone. It was discovered that the pilot took off from a regional airport in New Hampshire and took out a runway light and flew the aircraft all the way back. It was a Piper Warrior.

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I guess besides the point, but as an owner of a Phantom 3 and Mavic 2 Pro it’s unfortunate to see where this has got to. If the media didn’t humiliate the drone community of suggesting every drone is dangerous from the few operators operating unlawfully then people wouldn’t be so concerned of this happening. I mean this should certainly be a wake up call to all drone operators to hopefully respect the regulations closely. Especially considering the damage that could be possible. The rules and regulations in place should prevent this from happening all together if every operator followed the rules. Unfortunately this can indeed happen from the operators operating their drones unlawfully for example the occasional person flying above the legal altitude or operating within proximity of airspace.

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Oh no…
Shivers to ask

What airport did this accident take place?

Also wow, this was very interesting.

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It happened when tower was closed. The FBO had a key drop off for after hours. When the owner of the FBO saw the aircraft he was able to find out where the aircraft flew to through ATC. He then called Nashua, NH and upon morning inspection of their runways they found a broken light fixture and were wondering how it happened.
You see a lot more when you work at the airport vs. just when you are flight training.
I also had a Piper Arrow -200 RG come back with a bullet hole in its wing. Bullet traveled from bottom of right wing and out of the top of the right wing.

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