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Bird Strike Testing & Foreign Object Damage Testing

 Simulated (top) and actual (bottom) bird strike test on an aircraft radome

Damage Testing for Better Aviation Safety

UDRI's researchers can perform a wide variety of bird strike and foreign object damage (FOD) impact tests on aircraft structures or aircraft engine components.

Projectiles as small as grains of sand to packages over 100 pounds have been launched using our compressed-gas guns. Impact velocities range from 100 ft/sec to over 1,600 ft/sec. Typical projectiles for testing aircraft structures and engine components to meet FAA/EASA regulations include birds up to 8-pound Canada geese and iceballs to simulate hail impacts.

This facility is also used to evaluate aircraft engine aircraft fan cases and fan case materials for containment against engine blades, discs, or blade fragments liberated from the engine. Impact shock tests, static crush tests, penetration resistance tests, shear/tensile tests, and deep sea pressure tests can be performed on Crash Survivable Memory Units (CSMU) of flight data and cockpit voice recorders in this facility. Subscale as well as full-scale test articles (including full-sized aircraft fuselages) can be accommodated in our environmentally-controlled indoor test facility.

Contact us today to learn how we can meet your impact testing needs.

Contact Us: 937-229-2113  |  E-Mail  |  Form

Top: Simulated (top) and actual (bottom) bird strike test on an aircraft radome at UDRI's Impact Physics Lab.


  • Artificial or real bird testing
  • Bird strike and hail impact development/certification testing
  • Digital Image Correlation (DIC) systems for 3-D surface displacement and strain measurements
  • Five independently operated compressed-gas gun ranges with barrel bore sizes range from 0.22 cal. to 12-inch
  • Impact velocities up to 1,600 ft/sec
  • Indoor climate controlled test facility
  • Instrumented test articles (strain gages, accelerometers, uniaxial and triaxial load cells)
  • Multiple high-speed data acquisition channels with sampling rates up to 25 Mhz
  • Multiple high-speed digital HD cameras with framing rates up to 646,000 fps
  • On-site machine shop for fixture fabrication
  • Overhead cranes for heavy material handling
  • Solid modeling for design of complex test article mounting fixtures
  • Temperature conditioning of test articles (-40°F to 2,000°F)

Typical Projects

  • Ballistic limit testing of aircraft engine casing materials
  • Bird strike testing/evaluation of aircraft structures (windshield/canopy, wings, nacelles, empennage, radomes)
  • Bird strike testing of aircraft engine components (fan blades, propeller blades, spinners, platforms, vanes)
  • Ceramic Matrix Composite (CMC) damage threshold evaluation
  • Development of specialty ballistic impact test methods
  • Fan case and fan case material containment performance for blade/blade fragments
  • Flight Data Recorder/Cockpit Voice Recorder crash survivability testing per EUROCAE ED-112 specifications
  • Foreign Object Damage (FOD) testing of aircraft engine components with rocks, bolts, or domestic object fragments
  • Hail impact testing of aircraft structures and engine components
  • Impact testing of aircraft components for F-15, F-16, F-18, F-22, F-111, AH-64, AV-8, A-7, T-38, B-1, B-2, A320, B737, B767, B777, MRJ, V-22, and others

This video shows the results of a recent test performed in UDRI's Impact Physics Lab, which demonstrates that even small drones pose significant risk to manned aircraft. The drone was launched at a rate designed to reflect the relative combined speed of a fully intact drone traveling toward a commercial transport aircraft moving at a high approach speed.


University of Dayton Research Institute

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0101