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This paper presents a method for investigating the unsteady aerodynamics of flapping wings for micro air vehicle application. For this purpose, a robotic flapper was designed and fabricated which can flap dynamically scaled wings in a desired kinematic pattern. An aerodynamic model and wing testing methodology was developed based on unsteady aerodynamic mechanisms. This model additionally accounts for the wing twisting. The experimental results show a good agreement with published data and the aerodynamic model compares well with the experimental results. The focus of the present work is on hovering flight, however, the methodology is general and can be extended to forward flight in future.
Date of Conference: 8-10 June 2005