Review of current research trends in bird strike and hail impact simulations on wing leading edge

Zdobyslaw Jan Goraj (Department of Aircraft Design, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland)
Kamila Kustron (Department of Aircraft Design, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Publication date: 8 May 2018



Bird strike and hail impact resistances are considered in relation to the fulfilment of airworthiness/crashworthiness regulations as specified by appropriate aviation authorities. Before aircraft are allowed to go into service, these regulations must be fulfilled. This includes the adaption of the wing leading edge (LE) structure to smart diagnostics and an easy repair. This paper aims to focus on the wing LE, although all forward-facing aircraft components are exposed to the impact of foreign object during the flight. The best practices based on credible simulations which may be appropriate means of establishing compliance with European Aviation safety Agency and Federal Aviation Administration regulations regarding bird strikes, together with the problem of collisions with hailstones, are overviewed in aspect of accuracy and computing cost.


The best means of evaluating worldwide certification standards so as to be more efficient for all stakeholders by reducing risk and costs (time and money consuming) of certification process are recommended. The very expensive physical tests may be replaced by adequate and credible computer simulations. The adequate credible simulation must be verified and validated. The statistical approaches for modelling the uncertainty are presented in aspect of computing cost.


The simulation models have simplifications and assumptions that generate an uncertainty. The uncertainty must be identified in benchmarking tests. Instead of using “in house” physical tests, there are scientific papers available in open literature thanks to the new trend in worldwide publication of the research results. These large databases can be efficiently transform into useful benchmark thanks to data mining and knowledge discovery methods and big data analyses. The physical test data are obtained from tests on the ground-based demonstrator by using high-speed cameras and a structural health monitoring system, and therefore, they should be applied at an early stage of the design process.


The sources of uncertainty in simulation models are expressed, and the way to their assessment is presented based on statistical approaches. A brief review of the current research shows that it widely uses efficient numerical analysis and computer simulations and is based on finite element methods, mesh structure as well as mesh free particle models. These methods and models are useful to analyse airworthiness requirements for damage tolerance regarding bird-strike and hail impact and haves been subjected to critical review in this paper. Many original papers were considered in this analysis, and some of them have been critically reviewed and commented upon.



Zdobyslaw Jan Goraj and Kamila Kustron (2018) "Review of current research trends in bird strike and hail impact simulations on wing leading edge", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 90 No. 4, pp. 602-612

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