Influence of take-off power on bird ingestion threat

Influence of take-off power on bird ingestion threat

Duncan A. S. Macdougall
Impact & Containment Specialist

Rolls-Royce PLC
ML-13, D-3, Moor Lane
Derby, Derbyshire, United Kingdom DE24 8BJ 
(780) 796-9352


Antoine Pilon
Commercial Propulsion Safety Enhancement and Airworthiness
Airbus Operations SAS
316 route de Bayonne
Toulouse, Haute, Caronne, France 31060

Abstract: This study investigates the influence of take-off power on the number & severity of bird ingestion events for a large civil aero engine. The majority of bird strikes are known to happen at low altitude, with around 85% of events occurring below 1,500ft. Operators are motivated to use de-rated take-off power where possible, to reduce both engine deterioration and fuel burn. However, this practice results in aircraft accelerating more slowly, and operating at low altitude for longer, potentially exposing aircraft & engines to a higher rate of bird strikes. There is therefore a potential trade-off in the selection of take-off power between the motivation to reduce engine deterioration & fuel burn (lower power take-off) and to reduce time at low altitude where most bird strikes occur (higher power take-off). This study concludes that despite a predicted reduction in the number of strikes by the widespread use of higher take-off power, the remaining bird ingestion events would be more damaging to engines.

Duncan A. S. Macdougall

Duncan Macdougall is a technical specialist in Impact and Containment in Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace, based in Derby in the United Kingdom. He designs engines to withstand external threats such as bird strike, ice and hail impact, and for fan blade and core blade off load cases. He is involved in bird ingestion method development for gas turbines, including statistical analysis, and test and analytical approaches. He is the Rolls-Royce representative on the industry AIA Bird Committee rule making group.

Antoine Pilon

Antoine Pilon is a Powerplant Safety and Certification engineer at Airbus Commercial airplanes. He’s the Airbus rotorburst and propeller blade release expert but his duties cover all major engine failure issues such as FBO or Bird Strike. Antoine has responsibility to design and certify safe aircraft against rotorburst and is involved in all stages of the design process, from R&D to certification and accident / incident investigations. He took part in a major investigation related to a bird strike that occured in 2019. Antoine is a member of several industry / Airworthiness authorities committees related to aviation safety (Bird Strike / FBO / Rotorburst) and was an Airbus representative in the EASA Open Rotor Bird Strike rulemaking.

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