Aerodynamic Analysis and Design Optimization of a Novel Flapping Wing Micro Air Vehicle in Hovering Flight

Document Type : Regular Article


1 Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Department, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan, 611731, PR China

2 Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Department, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Huzhou, Zhejiang, 313001, PR China



Inspired by the challenging and nimble flight dynamics of flying insects and birds, this research investigates bionic propulsion technology to develop an improved flapping wing micro air vehicle (FWMAV) design. Following the bionic formula, a prototype is preliminarily designed to achieve multi-attitude flight. Then, kinematic modeling is employed for further data analysis. A meshless particle hydrodynamics method is adopted to explore an optimized flapping driving mechanism and understand the influence of the flapping frequency, flapping amplitude, and quick-return characteristics of one side of the symmetrical mechanism on aerodynamic performance. Based on the aerodynamic model, force measurement experiments are developed to verify simulation availability and investigate the importance of wing flexibility. The numerical analysis results demonstrate that the average lift is approximately proportional to the flapping frequency, flapping-wing amplitude, and quick-return characteristics. Further optimization is conducted to find the best design parameters setting because of the complicated coupling relationship between the flapping wing amplitude and quick-return characteristics. Moreover, the optimized wing property supports high aerodynamic performance via experimental analysis in hovering flight.


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