Friday, March 4, 2011

In Bird Vs. Plane Both Lose

F-16 canopy after a bird strike

Bird strikes are a significant threat to flight safety, and have caused a number of accidents with human casualties. Major accidents involving civil aircraft are quite low and it has been estimated that there is only about 1 accident resulting in human death in one billion (109) flying hours. The majority of bird strikes (65%) cause little damage to the aircraft; however, the collision is usually fatal to the bird.

Most accidents occur when the bird hits the windscreen or flies into the engines. These cause annual damages that have been estimated at $400 million within the United States of America alone and up to $1.2 billion to commercial aircraft worldwide.  Now there is hope to reduce the damage from such attacks.
Mid-air collisions with birds are the leading cause of airplane crashes, and have led to the destruction of several Air Force planes, as well as causing more than $500,000 in damage to other planes. In response, Israel Aerospace Industries has invented the Bird Splitter, a system that destroys birds before they hit the plane.

The system was unveiled last week at the 51st annual Israeli conference on Aerospace sciences, held in Tel Aviv.

The Bird Splitter is located on the tail of the aircraft. The system “is designed to 'split' an oncoming bird and thereby protect aircraft structure and crucial systems,” IAI said.

It has been installed on the IAI's new G-250 business jet.

The risk posed by birds made papers worldwide in 2009, thanks to the “Miracle on the Hudson,” when pilot Chesley Sullenberger successfully landed an incapacitated passenger plane on the Hudson River, saving the lives of everyone on board. The plane's engines had been severely damaged in a collision with a flock of geese.

It was only the fact that Captain Sullenberger was such an exceptional pilot that the passengers and crew were not killed.  Bird Splitter will help prevent these accidents.

Another useful invention for the left to demand a boycott of.

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