Axilrod, Benjamin M (National Bureau of Standards) Kline, Gordon M (National Bureau of Standards)
The problem of developing a windshield for aircraft which will withstand the effect of bird impacts during flight is a difficult one, as an estimate of the striking energy will indicate. If the average speed of the airplane is considered to be about 200 miles per hour and that of the bird about 70 miles per hour, the speed of the bird relative to the airplane may be as great as 400 feet per second. If a 4-pound bird is involved, a maximum impact energy of approximately 10,000 foot-pounds must be dissipated. To obtain this energy in a drop test in the Washington Monument, it would be necessary to drop a 20-pound weight down the 500-foot shaft. For both theoretical and practical reasons, it is necessary to keep the mass and speed more nearly like those to be encountered. However, to get an impact of about 10,000 foot-pounds with a 4-pound falling body, it would be necessary to drop it from a height of approximately one-half mile, neglecting air resistance. These facts will indicate some of the experimental obstacles in the way of simulating bird impacts against aircraft windshields.
An Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file of the entire report: