The big fear that is feeding the media driven drone hysteria is the thought of some idiot with a new flying toy, wandering into the path of a passenger airliner, followed by J.J. Abrams style fireballs and bodies falling from the sky. This gruesome scenario has really only been supported by people’s imagination, the media’s need for headlines, and lack of any real scientific data as to what would actually happen, should a rouge quadcopter make that million to one shot into a 9 foot basket moving 230 mph through the air.
So the smart folks at Virginia Tech’s CRASH (Crashworthiness for Aerospace Structures and Hybrids) lab have been working hard to answer these questions. Founded and directed by Professor Javid Bayandor, the team at the CRASH lab’s latest endeavor has been to build simulation models for turbofan engines, drone components, and basically smash them into each other to see what happens.
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Simulation courtesy Virginia Tech CRASH Lab