The periodical explains that aircraft are tested for every incident they are likely to encounter in the sky and on the ground before becoming a finished product. The Bird Strike Test is one of the mandatory tests manufacturers must subject their products. During take-off, climb, or flight, an aircraft may collide with one or more birds.
According to data by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), 90 per cent of bird strikes, considered one of the most significant threats in the aviation industry, occur during the take-off and landing of aircraft. However, bird strikes at high altitudes have also been reported. Bird strikes on aircraft can cause various failures that endanger flight safety.
Aircraft are put through the Bird Strike Test to manage all potential damages that may occur to the aircraft in such a situation in advance and maximise flight safety, even though various precautions are taken to prevent all these before they happen. New centre for Bird Strike Testing Previously conducted only abroad. The Bird Strike Test is now also performed at TUSAŞ facilities.
According to the publication, TUSAŞ uses specially produced organic gelatine bird models instead of chicken carcasses in development tests. The shot sample is placed in the sabot, the pressure value calculated according to the aircraft’s speed is entered into the system, and the gas gun is pressurised. The launched gelatine, together with the sabot in which it is placed, leaves the open end of the barrel and moves towards the stopper. Meanwhile, two laser sensors instantaneously measure the sabot and the bird’s speed. The sabot, which consists of two parts, breaks into two pieces with the help of speed and air and hits the stopper. The gelatine passes through the hole in the sabot stopper’s centre and continues moving forward.
The gelatine hits the planned area on the aircraft part, which is fixed with a holding fixture. In the meantime, the movement of the model bird is recorded by high-speed cameras and a rapid data collection system. During the test, all other data collected by an accelerometer and coulometer, strain gauges, displacement and pressure sensors, and images of the moment of the strike are combined and analysed. Ultimately, the damage to the aircraft part is demonstrated.
Ballistic gelatine weighing 500-3,500 g is used as a surrogate for a bird, and the shots can reach a speed of 50-650 knots (25-335 m/s) and a pressure of 250 bar.