How common is Bird Strike type FOD in military flying?

Military aircraft accidents/mishaps.
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KamenRiderBlade

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Unread post05 Mar 2014, 03:58

We've all heard about how Captain Sully landed his passenger jet in the river safely, but how often do Bird Strike's happen to military aircraft?

Is there a way to safely deal with birds?

Would a fancy high end automated laser pointer that singes birds be enough to make them move away from a aircraft's flight path?

Is there any other common FOD other than Bird's that aircraft have to deal with on take off / in flight?
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exfltsafety

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Unread post05 Mar 2014, 05:11

Birdstrikes are common. See USAF statistics at http://www.afsec.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-140124-024.pdf. Those stats show 4230 bird/wildlife strikes in FY13 in the USAF. The majority of those are birdstrikes. Other wildlife struck during takeoff/landing include deer, wild pigs, rabbits, etc.

The USAF has a dedicated program called BASH (Bird/Wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard) to reduce the frequency of strikes. See http://www.afsec.af.mil/organizations/bash/index.asp. In addition to eliminating/reducing bird populations near airfields, low level flight is avoided in areas with high bird concentrations.

Aircraft canopies and engines are also designed to be able to survive bird strikes up to certain bird size and impact speed combinations.

An automated laser pointer? Maybe in another 100 years :wink:
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neurotech

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Unread post05 Mar 2014, 23:40

KamenRiderBlade wrote:We've all heard about how Captain Sully landed his passenger jet in the river safely, but how often do Bird Strike's happen to military aircraft?

Is there a way to safely deal with birds?

Would a fancy high end automated laser pointer that singes birds be enough to make them move away from a aircraft's flight path?

Is there any other common FOD other than Bird's that aircraft have to deal with on take off / in flight?

There are pilots who have been involved in multiple bird strike incidents in their careers.

When tactical jets fly low-level they are prone to major bird strike mishaps. The best way to deal with tactical birdstrikes is stronger canopies and blisk fan/disks in the engines. The F/A-18E/F (F414), F-22 (F119) and F-35 (F135) engines all feature Blisk fans that minimize the chance of fan debris going into the core. The CFM56 engines on Capt. Sully's A320 apparently sustained direct core damage which destroyed the core. The F119 (I think?) and the F135 have Integrated Blade/Rotor Blisks that would be not fail in the way as CFM56 core compressor disks. Composite fans and compressor discs may help civilian turbofan engines avoid bird strike induced core failures.

Several F/A-18E/Fs have sustained birdstrike damage and safely landed. I don't think there has been a single Super Hornet hull loss due to a F414 core failure. My suspicion is that the most recent F/A-18E loss was actually an AMAD failure, assuming engine related. Airframe Mounted Accessory Drive failure could disable 3 out of 4 hydraulic systems, resulting in a uncontrollable jet.

For the F-22/F119, there has been at least one major birdstrike and the engine kept running, despite significant damage from an 8 pound bird. This resulted in Class-A ($1m+) damage. Similar sized birds destroyed the CF56 engines in Sully's A320.

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