Product: Engine: Jet: Intake Protection
Aircraft Engine Messaging   (+7)  [vote for, against]
Warn the birds off

Birdstrikes in aircraft engines are messy, often fatal to the bird and enormously dangerous to the plane and it's passengers. Aircraft have been brought down due to birdstrikes.

This simple attachment to the aircraft engine might go someway to preventing these.

A line of blue LEDs are placed in a linear array on a single blade of the engine, from the outside into the centre. The LEDs are battery powered and can light up in any order programmed.

When the engine is in full flow, it will look like the engine has a irridescent blue front which, hopefully, might just scare off a few birds.

At slower speeds, on the ground, the same technology can be used to display messages to other grounded craft [See link].
-- jonthegeologist, Jan 29 2006

LED messaging http://www.apogeeki...d_message_jesse.JPG
[jonthegeologist, Jan 29 2006]

example http://www.neilphil...andbasedwarning.jpg
maybe we could employ other LED displays to similar effect. [neilp, Jan 29 2006]

Aren't most birds intelligent enough to get out of the way when a plane flies towards them? I think that the reason they do it is simply that they cannot get out of the way fast enough, so this would have no effect. However, it might do, so I'll stay neutral.
-- dbmag9, Jan 29 2006

[dbmag9]. My thoughts exactly when this came to me. However, I post it surely because it can't possibly do any harm and if it scares just one bird away from an engine, then that's good news.
-- jonthegeologist, Jan 29 2006

Maybe the LEDs should be programmed to display a peregrine in the stoop.
-- AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jan 29 2006

apparently wind farms are killing huge numbers of birds - surprised me too
-- po, Jan 29 2006

OK then jon, I'll give you a bun. But only because I like you.

Also, though, another problem that occured to me is that red is the colour displayed on the back of the plane to allow other planes to see it and work out which direction it is going. Change the LEDs to blue.
-- dbmag9, Jan 29 2006

EDIT : changed red to blue LEDs.
-- jonthegeologist, Jan 29 2006

surely if the bird can't see a fuck-off huge Iron bird coming at them, they're not going to be looking out for flashing LEDs.

also.. surely these LEDs will put the blades out of balance (they're within milligrams of each other, and smoothed to get fuel economy).
-- neilp, Jan 29 2006

now.. if you'd suggested this as a light hearted way for passengers to send messages to other planes/the ground via the in flight entertainment system, you'd have yourself a Business Class croissant.
-- neilp, Jan 29 2006

nielp: not if both wings have this, and the LEDs are embedded in the wing (under solidified plastic). And your second anno could easily be combined.

Thanks jon for changing the LEDs. It is very nice to have a comment listened to.
-- dbmag9, Jan 29 2006

ah, yes, they'd be much better in the wing that in the engine blades. Still not convinced the birds are going to be able to read the messages.
-- neilp, Jan 29 2006

mmm... worth re-iterating this. The birds don't read the messages, the LEDs (whilst in flight), create colour noise to frighten them away.

On the ground, they can be used for 'Jesse' messaging.
-- jonthegeologist, Jan 29 2006

I appreciate the change from LEDs on the engine to LEDs on the wings. The imbalance would have been scary.

I'd suggest flashing the lights on and off, or something. I cannot find a reference right now, but in WW2 some airplanes were camouflaged by adding lights to the front. The planes that attacked surfaced submarines were detected when they appeared as little black dots in the sky, so lights were put on the front of the planes, making them appear lighter against the sky. Ummm, for daytime flying, I mean.
-- baconbrain, Jan 30 2006

Yes, [neilp], I was hoping for a means of communicating by modulating the engine sound.
-- normzone, Jan 30 2006

I doubt this will help the bird situation at all. [po] had it right when he mentioned birds flying into stationary props; the birds don't know to move. Thats the pilot-in-command's job - just like with deer in the road, they don't know to avoid cars; the driver has to avoid them. And, similarly with cars and deer, lights on the front don't help.
But I give you this - it would look awesome to have a persistence of vision toy on the propeller. tricky, pointless, but aesthetically amazing. bun@u.
-- roleohibachi, Jan 30 2006

Putting blue LEDs on an aeroplane sounds like "Pimp my 747" - what next? 'Spinners' on the landing gear?
-- hippo, Jan 30 2006

... wish I'd thought of that title.
-- jonthegeologist, Jan 30 2006

<OscarWilde>You will Jon, you will ...</OscarWilde>
-- hippo, Jan 30 2006

I read this as Engine Massaging - brought images to mind of sultry models provocatively caressing the glistening engine pods before the plane took off, whilst the nervous passengers peered out in total disbelief.
-- xenzag, Jan 30 2006

random, halfbakery