This paper focuses on the design, fabrication and characterization of unimorph actuators for a microaerial flapping mechanism. PZT-SH and PZN-PT are investigated as piezoelectric layers in the unimorph actuators. Design issues for microaerial flapping actuators are discussed, and criteria for the optimal dimensions of actuators are determined. For low power consumption actuation, a square wave based electronic driving circuit is proposed. Fabricated piezoelectric unimorphs are characterized by an optical measurement system in quasi-static and dynamic mode. Experimental performance of PZT-5H and PZIV-PT based unimorphs is compared with desired design specifications. A 1-DOF flapping mechanism with a PZT-SH unimorph is constructed, and 180° stroke motion at 95 Hz is achieved. Thus, it is shown that unimorphs could be promising flapping mechanism actuators.