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Agricultural aircraft wing slat tolerance for bird strike

Adam Deskiewicz (Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland and School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing, Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)
Rafał Perz (Institute of Aeronautics and Applied Mechanics, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 3 July 2017




The aim of this study is to assess and describe possible consequences of a bird strike on a Polish-designed PZL-106 Kruk agricultural aircraft. Due to its susceptibility to such events, a wing slat has been chosen for analysis.


Smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH) formulation has been used for generation of the bird finite element model. The simulations were performed by the LS-Dyna explicit finite element analysis software. Several test cases have been analysed with differing parameters such as impact velocity, initial velocity vector direction, place of impact and bird mass.


Results of this study reveal that the structure remains safe after an impact at the velocity of 25 m/s. The influence of bird mass on slat damage is clearly observable when the impact velocity rises to 60 m/s. Another important finding was that in each case where the part did not withstand the applied load, it was the lug where first failure occurred. Some of the analysed cases indicated the possibility a consequent wing box damage.

Practical implications

This finding provides the manufacturer an important insight into the behaviour of the slat and suggests that more detailed analysis of the current lug design might improve the safety of the structure.


Even though similar analyses have been performed, they tended to focus on large transport aircraft components. This investigation will enhance our understanding of structural response of small, low-speed aircraft to a bird impact, which is a realistic scenario for the chosen case of an agricultural plane.



Deskiewicz, A. and Perz, R. (2017), "Agricultural aircraft wing slat tolerance for bird strike", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 89 No. 4, pp. 590-598.



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