How ANA turned to planes to reduce bird collisions

bird strike This is a serious threat to flight safety and has caused numerous accidents with casualties. There are over 13,000 bird strikes annually in the United States alone. Bird strikes cause only one fatality per billion flight hours, but they can cause significant damage to aircraft. All Nippon Airways in Japan (ANA) seems to have found a way around it by painting fake eyes on the engine intakes of some wide-body jets.

It is not uncommon for birds to collide in or around airports during takeoff, low climb or landing.. Bird strikes have also been reported with him as high as 15,000 feet (4,500 m). Regardless of attitude, bird strikes pose a significant threat to the safety of aircraft and their crews.

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The aircraft was hit by US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River.

For example, in January 2009, US Airways (Flight 1549) Airbus A320 Immediately after taking off from LaGuardia Airport in New York, I ran into a flock of birds (local government). The impact caused the twin engines to fail, causing the pilot to glide the plane and crash it into the Hudson River. All 155 passengers and crew survived the crash and were rescued by boat.

ANA experiment

In the 1990s, ANA conducted a controlled experiment to examine the effect of painted eyes on bird strike occurrence. The airline has drawn its eye on 26 planes. Boeing 747 and 767 The aircraft will conduct experiments over a period of one year. The airline’s remaining aircraft were left without painted eyes. ANA has found that menacing eyes painted on aircraft engine intakes scare birds away and prevent low-altitude collisions.

A New York Times article at the time said that after a year of experimentation, only one engine crash with painted eyes averaged. On the other hand, each unpainted engine was hit by an average of nine birds.

All Nippon Airways B767-381 departing from Osaka International Airport.

Other paintings on the engine nose cone

It is common to see white swirls in the nosecone of modern jet engines. One reason for painting it white is to keep birds away from the aircraft. While the engine is running, birds may be alerted by a white center inside a black hole. Birds have a much higher flicker fusion rate than humans, so they can see spinning spirals as giant predators. According to Rolls-Royce

“Our aerospace engines have swirls on the spinner to show that the engine is spinning on the ground. In flight, when the engine spins at high speed, these swirls flicker and frighten birds. can escape from the engine.”

All Nippon Airways estimates that the reduction in bird strikes during the test period reduced the damage to aircraft by more than 50% in terms of cost. In addition, thanks to the painted eyes, the number of birds that could collide with the aircraft during low-flying flights was greatly reduced. The airline has insisted on painting the eyes on all its widebody planes.

What are your thoughts on the experiment to see the effect of painting eyes on ANA’s engine intakes? Let us know in the comments.

  • A380 All Nippon Airways MSN266 - Ferry Flight 2

    Photo: Hervé Goussé – master film via Airbus

    All Nippon Airways

    IATA/ICAO code:

    Airline type:
    full service carrier

    Tokyo Haneda Airport, Tokyo Narita Airport

    Founded year:

    star alliance

    Shinichi Inoue


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