Airplane model to avoid midair collisions between birds and airplanes
The new model made of polystyrene which has an electric motor, a sound system which imitates the sounds of eagles and a light for nighttime operations, hopes to diminish accidents due to collision between birds and airplanes in small Colombian airports.Medellín, 01 de junio de 2016 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
“The idea behind the model is for it to fly during the most critical airport operation hours, to effectively scatter the bird population and reduce the probabilities of midair accidents. Reducing it to zero is almost impossible as the birds are always close, but we can diminish accidents to minimal industry standards,” said Juan Luis López, member of Engineering Project Seminar which produced the model plane.
The airplane model has the form of an eagle and was manufactured in high and low density polystyrene and will be handled using a remote control.
The Special Management Unit of the Colombian Civil Aeronautics Office (Aerocivil, for its Spanish acronym) says in its National Colombian Fauna Limitation Program, “The bird threat has been recognized as a risk to aircraft safety and therefore measures should be taken to discourage presence of birds or other types of dangerous fauna near or around airports.”
Although Aerocivil holds prevention programs in Colombian airports using fireworks, specialized pyrotechnics and air models, the student designers thought of an economic solution to solve this issue in small airports which are constantly bothered by the presence of birds.
According to López, “In Colombia, Airplan (a Colombian enterprise which operates the Rionegro, Medellín, Montería, Quibdó, Carepa and Corozal Airports) purchased a Spanish airplane model which had the form of a falcon, but it broke down and it was impossible to find replacement parts.”
The model airplane designed by the students will not only be much cheaper than the imported models, but in case of damages they will be easier to repair, as it was manufactured with materials easily obtainable in Colombia.
The accident rate in aviation is determined by the amount of incidents for every 10,000 operations. If an airport does not surpass 10 impacts in 10,000 operations, it is considered a good indicator. Figures above this amount are considered troublesome.
To design their project, the students were advised by personnel of Airplan. The Rionegro Airport has the least incident rate with two incidents for every 10,000 operations as opposed to the airport in the City of Monteria (Los Garzones) which has 16 incidents for every 10,000 operations.
“Airplanes are in bird territory and vice versa. When there is a collision there are risks not only for the aircraft but this could result in risk of human lives,” said López, team spokesperson.
The most common birds for these types of incidents are cattle egrets, curlews and doves. At night there are often accidents with bats.(Por: Fin/SLGS/MLA/JAAH