How Tiny Bugs Can Slow Down an Airplane

by Moin Uddin Ahmed Tipu

We’ve all had insects smash into our windshield when driving. Gross, yes, but it’s not a major problem. But for the airlines.. it is! They’re losing tons of money! Trace explains how tiny bugs can cause such a big problem.

Read More:
Bird Strike Damage & Windshield Bird Strike

“Bird strikes are random events. The intersection of bird and aircraft flight paths, the mass of the bird and the part of the aircraft struck are all random elements that will determine the outcome.”

Why Do Geese and Airplanes Collide?

“For the second time in less than two weeks, an airplane has been forced to land after hitting geese. The latest accident happened Tuesday, when a JetBlue plane made an emergency landing after the bird strike, according to Reuters.”

Strategies for Prevention of Bird-Strike Events

“Bird strikes are a lesser hazard to aviation than other well-known hazards such as loss of control in flight, controlled flight into terrain, and runway excursions, but they can and do present risk that needs to be addressed.”

Factors Affecting Truck Fuel Economy
“Fuel consumption is a function of power required at the wheels and overall engine-accessories-driveline efficiency.”

Fuel efficiency with insect protection

“A windscreen full of insect remains is a familiar experience on the roads in summer. It is no different on the runway at the airport.”

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Leave a Comment


Menko August 29, 2013 - 1:23 AM

I got it… my comment was joke too, dumdum.

Lynn Davis August 29, 2013 - 1:06 PM

They have deer whistles for cars, can the make an insect (or bird) whistle for planes?

TheoriHD August 29, 2013 - 6:10 PM

You win the internet.

Annie Zhang August 30, 2013 - 3:35 AM


Oriole Alventa August 30, 2013 - 5:35 AM

damn I didn't hear it until I read your comment

Th3Tr3mors August 30, 2013 - 5:54 AM

Just coat the entire plane in Teflon. You're welcome. I'll expect my check in the mail.

jam92es August 30, 2013 - 7:53 AM

I don't know what you say at 2:34, but it's hilarious!

Spore4006 August 30, 2013 - 12:49 PM

If you turn up to 720p and turn up the volume you can hear it's actually a background music track. A terrible one at that. Please never use that again.

princeofexcess August 31, 2013 - 1:52 AM

I vote lazers. Zap the bugs with lazers in front of the plane causing them to drop and preventing collisions. Lazers are not always the answer but it seems that in this case it might work. (problem is where to mount them )

Greg Bassen August 31, 2013 - 5:15 AM

fuck you, now ever since i have seen your comment i have been unable to hear anything but the ticking!!!

Jorge Sanchez August 31, 2013 - 8:23 AM


Jorge Sanchez August 31, 2013 - 8:23 AM


temporary1234m August 31, 2013 - 11:49 AM

That would add a considerable amount of weight to the plane though, did you know that the paint alone on a 747 can weigh around 1,100 pounds (500 kilos)?

antonijn August 31, 2013 - 8:34 PM

Insect are a major problem for glider pilots too, they're designed to have low-drag, bugs really increase the drag quite a bit.

Leonard Greenpaw September 1, 2013 - 6:41 AM


DragosMP September 2, 2013 - 8:02 AM

It's actually a song playing in the background…..horrible choice….

Bryce Fritzel September 2, 2013 - 7:05 PM


Dunkinator September 3, 2013 - 2:14 PM

NZpnw September 4, 2013 - 4:46 PM

Ewwwwwww why scarebus?

SuperManGamer September 4, 2013 - 11:31 PM

A bug?

Chazyboy September 5, 2013 - 2:35 AM

Haha we should do that too everything except things that need it to live but its expensive, not vastly produced yet, and underdeveloped. So ya maybe like 10 years from now.

XxKarolusMagnusxX September 5, 2013 - 6:31 AM

Get rid of the metronome background track!!!!!!!!!!!11

Ronan Laker September 5, 2013 - 11:45 PM

the ticking is driving me crazy!!!

Dana Gibbs September 7, 2013 - 4:28 AM

What's that ticking sound?

Dana Gibbs September 7, 2013 - 4:30 AM

I just realized the ticking is part of the music in the background. I think.

michaelwindsurfer54 September 8, 2013 - 4:10 AM

ze germans are ze best at engineering

Pikachu Studios September 8, 2013 - 10:40 AM

Big spray force fields

princeofexcess September 10, 2013 - 5:07 AM

Another idea: Spray the airplane with a light material that unsticks at a certain temperature (since temperatures up high are usually very cold) as soon as you are high the material will fall off with the bugs and for the rest of the flight the drag will be decreased. (since no new bugs will hopefully fly so high) after landing the airplanes can be rinsed from the bugs acquired during landing and sprayed with the material again.

speadskater September 10, 2013 - 6:55 PM

This tick is the worst.

rwheeler9020 September 11, 2013 - 9:10 PM

Replace the paint with NeverWet! :D

Ethel2eal September 12, 2013 - 12:55 AM

Maybe the cost for the spray is not worth the savings on fuel

Olliverio's September 16, 2013 - 12:25 AM

Let's hope the planes got some mosquitoes. They would probably kill us if they had the chance.

JacobStan12 September 16, 2013 - 8:53 AM

but yet I can't take 51 lbs on a plane.

TreadSlowly September 17, 2013 - 9:22 AM

The ticking noise in this video is irritating

sdmitch16 September 24, 2013 - 12:58 PM

I bet NeverWet is lighter than paint and it should protect the metal just as well as paint.

CynicalPixel September 27, 2013 - 6:43 AM

Planes can't handle'em either?Hmm.

Rogue September 28, 2013 - 7:42 PM

But then the massive wind forces would peel the "NeverWet" off of the plane.

Tom Durango October 12, 2013 - 7:01 AM

no one eslse tryed to sole the clues

Bepis Shmepis October 17, 2013 - 10:37 AM

Design NeverWet paint.

Sean Marshall April 8, 2014 - 10:34 AM

Why do bugs bug you? What possibale reason do you have to hate bugs?