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A novel methodology for wing sizing of bio-inspired flapping wing micro air vehicles: theory and prototype

M. Hassanalian, A. Abdelkefi, M. Wei and S. Ziaei-Rad 

Acta Mechanica, Volume 228, Issue 3, November 2016, Pages 1097–1113



To design efficient flapping wing micro air vehicles (FWMAVs), a comprehensive sizing method based on theoretical and statistical analyses is proposed and experimentally verified. This method is composed of five steps including defining and analyzing the MAV mission, determining the flying modes, defining the wing shape and aspect ratio of the wing, applying the constraint analysis based on the defined mission, and estimating the weights of the electrical and structural components of the bio-inspired flapping wing micro air vehicle. To define the vehicle mission and flight plan, path analysis is performed based on the defined mission, the speed of cruise and turning, the turning radius and climatic conditions in the flight area. Following the defined mission analysis, the appropriate modes of flying (i.e., flapping, gliding, hovering, bounding, and soaring) for the flapping wing bird are recognized. After that, the wing shape and the wing aspect ratio are determined based on the defined flight modes. To estimate the wing loading, a constraint analysis is exploited in which flight equitation is simulated based on the modes and missions of the flight. Along with the four listed steps, a statistical method is employed to estimate the FWMAV weight for a well-defined mission. Based on the offered method for wing sizing of flapping wings, a FWMAV named Thunder I has been designed, fabricated, and tested. This developed methodology is very beneficial by giving guidelines for the design of efficient bio-inspired FWMAVs.




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