QinetiQ And CAA To Crash Drones Into Airliners
” Drones will be deliberately smashed into passenger jets as part of a radical testing programme triggered by fears of a catastrophe in British skies.
Ministers ordered the tests after a series of near misses, some near major airports.
They have committed more than £250,000 to pay for a private study of what would happen if a drone struck a window or the fuselage of a plane.
The secretive tests were ordered by the Department for Transport, in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Ministry of Defense.
They are being carried out by QinetiQ, whose experts have the run of 5,000 square miles of restricted airspace in Snowdonia, Wales.
The move is in response to growing concerns from pilots that drones, which contain heavy lithium batteries, could pierce a plane windscreen.
It comes as the Department for Transport prepares to finally publish a long-awaited consultation on the future of drones.
The number in the skies has spiralled in recent years amid a growing clamour for their use in industry as well as leisure and photography.”