An experimental investigation of flapping wing aerodynamics in micro air vehicles
Bradshaw, Christopher John
Jones, Kevin D.
Platzer, Max F.
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Flapping-wing propulsion was studied experimentally through Laser Doppler Velocimetry. Measurements were both time-averaged and unsteady, and were conducted on a Micro-Air Vehicle (MAV) model developed at NPS by Professors Max Platzer and Kevin Jones. The objective of this work was to further understanding of the aerodynamics of flapping-wing propulsion. In specific, this study examined separation control on the leading fixed wing due to entrainment by the trailing flapping wings. Further, a study of wake topology examined differences between the optimal and off-optimal cases. Experimental studies took place in the NPS 5' x 5' low speed wind tunnel. The model was supported on a test stand and LDV measurements of the flow field were taken. Studies were made at varying freestream velocities, angles of attack, and flapping frequencies. The test stand was instrumented with force balances to show forces in both the streamwise and vertical directions.
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