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Theoretical analysis and experimental verification for sizing of flapping wing micro air vehicles

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

54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Volume 24, Issue 78, 4-8 January 2016



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 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 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. Along with the four listed steps, statistical method is employed to estimate the FWMAV weight. Based on the proposed 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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