3

Building a bird-proof jet

No defence yet against rare ‘double bird strike’ that caused jet crash in NYC


 

Before he orchestrated an unforgettable emergency landing on the Hudson River, Capt. Chesley Sullenberger radioed air traffic controllers to report a “double bird strike.” In pilot lingo, that means a flock of Canadian geese collided with the Airbus A320, disabling not one, but both jet engines. Wayward birds are sucked into airplane turbines all the time, but a “double bird strike” is such a rare occurrence that most aviation experts can’t even recall another case. For decades, engineers have tried to build a bird-proof engine (their tests include launching frozen poultry into the spinning blades) but a failsafe solution still doesn’t exist. Thankfully, Capt. Sullenberger does.
The Wall Street Journal


 
Filed under:

Building a bird-proof jet

  1. Why can’t a metal grate or grill be installed in front of the air intake of the turbine that would let the air in but prevent anything else including birds from being sucked in the engine ?

    • The grate would need to be designed with a tight mesh size to stop large parts of the bird from “blasting” through on impact and entering the turbine blades. This would mean a large amount of “strong” and no doubt heavy metal over the engine air intake. Not to mention possible decreased and turbulent airflow from the grate and how this would effect the engine performance. As well as the grate itself would pose a threat to the engine if it gave way.

      Another idea is to develop and install on the aircraft a forward sweep sensor (like radar) that can detect birds at low altitudes. This could be similar in design to on board weather radar currently used in a wide range of aircraft. The pilot could detect the bird(s) miles ahead and adjust the corse/altitude away from the target. Birds are usually at 3000 feet or less and are a threat to commercial aviation on take off and landing.

  2. Why not build an aero-dynamic, probably cone-shaped , stainless steel vent for the engines, i am sure that
    engineers can come up with some sort of design to prevent this somewhat SILLY mishap. So much technology goes into the design of an aircraft only to be brought down by a BIRD !!!!

Sign in to comment.