This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Drones have been posing issues for commercial and recreational aircraft ever since their inception. Last year the Federal Aviation Administration released a report stating that drone strikes can cause more damage to aircraft than bird strikes.

Now, the University of Dayton Research Institute has provided more evidence of the serious harm these small plastic devices can do to a plane’s exterior.

A team of researchers at the school shot a 2.1 pound DJI Phantom 2 drone (a popular pick among hobby flyers) out of a cannon at a Mooney M20 prop aircraft’s wing. The drone was propelled at 238 mph — speeds that are consistent with a mid-air collision when an aircraft would be landing.

Video shows the drone ripping through the wing’s shell and bursting into pieces:

Wired spoke to Kevin Poormon who headed up the project, starting it because he was worried that as more drones take the sky, they’ll have a higher probability of hitting manned aircraft.

“It punctures a hole right through the leading edge,” Poorman said. “All the weight of the aircraft is suspended on the spars… If you damage the spar enough on that side, you would not, um, survive. The aircraft would crash.”

While a Mooney M20 is just a tiny four seater aircraft and not up to the safety standards of large commercial airliner like a Boeing 737 or Airbus A330, Poorman says the M20’s “structure and thickness of its wings resemble those of what you’d find on a bigger passenger plane.”

Poorman also shot a simulated bird composed of gelatin at the aircraft’s wing. And while it made a big impact, the fake bird didn’t create as deep of a hole or cause any internal damage.

“We wanted to help the aviation community and the drone industry understand the dangers that even recreational drones can pose to manned aircraft before a significant event occurs,” said Poorman in a blog post. “But there is little to no data about the type of damage UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] can do, and the information that is available has come only from modeling and simulations.”

Commercial aircraft have had multiple collisions and many more near accidents with drones over the last few years. The FAA recently implemented a new way for drone fliers to notify air traffic controllers if they’re flying nearby airports.

Featured image courtesy of University of Dayton / YouTube.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.