Experimental Investigation of the Aerodynamic Characteristics of Flapping-Wing Micro Air Vehicles
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In this paper the development and flight testing of a radio-controlled micro air vehicle propelled by flapping wings is described. The vehicle consists of a 30cm-span, 14.5cm-chord fixed-wing, with two flapping wings immediately downstream of the fixed-wing. The flapping wings, with a 25cm-span and 4cm-chord, are arranged in a biplane configuration and flap in counterphase, providing a mechanically and aerodynamically balanced platform. Flight tests have shown that the configuration is particularly well suited for low speed flight, due to the inherent resistance to flow separation facilitated by flow entrainment from the flapping wing pair. The 14 gram model has demonstrated stable flight at speeds between 2 and 5m/s, and the model exhibits a very rapid stall recovery under power, due to the flow entrainment effect.
AIAA Paper No. 2003-0418, Reno, Nevada, Jan. 2003.
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