The UK government is crashing drones into airplanes to see what happens

The research is being overseen by the military and will be used to inform regulators


As consumer drones become increasingly common, governments around the world are keeping a close eye at the dangers they pose — especially to regular aircraft. The UK government has even commissioned a series of test crashes between drones and planes, to find out exactly how much damage a quadcopter could cause in a real-life collision.

The tests are being funded by the UK’s Department for Transport and will be carried out by military contractor Qinetiq, with a full report set to be published before the end of the year. A spokesperson for the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, which sets the country’s drone regulations and is providing technical support for the tests, told The Verge that the crashes will be examining damage to airplane fuselage. Contrary to a recent report by The Daily Mail, the crashes won’t be carried out in mid-air and nor will they involve commercial jets — military aircraft will be used instead.

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