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Bio-inspired Flexible Twisting Wings Increase Lift and Efficiency of a Flapping Wing Micro Air Vehicle

2020

Article

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We investigate the effect of wing twist flexibility on lift and efficiency of a flapping-wing micro air vehicle capable of liftoff. Wings used previously were chosen to be fully rigid due to modeling and fabrication constraints. However, biological wings are highly flexible and other micro air vehicles have successfully utilized flexible wing structures for specialized tasks. The goal of our study is to determine if dynamic twisting of flexible wings can increase overall aerodynamic lift and efficiency. A flexible twisting wing design was found to increase aerodynamic efficiency by 41.3%, translational lift production by 35.3%, and the effective lift coefficient by 63.7% compared to the rigid-wing design. These results exceed the predictions of quasi-steady blade element models, indicating the need for unsteady computational fluid dynamics simulations of twisted flapping wings.

Author(s): Colmenares, David and Kania, Randall and Zhang, Wang and Sitti, Metin
Journal: arXiv preprint arXiv:2001.11586
Year: 2020

Department(s): Physical Intelligence
Bibtex Type: Article (article)
Paper Type: Journal

BibTex

@article{colmenares2020bio,
  title = {Bio-inspired Flexible Twisting Wings Increase Lift and Efficiency of a Flapping Wing Micro Air Vehicle},
  author = {Colmenares, David and Kania, Randall and Zhang, Wang and Sitti, Metin},
  journal = {arXiv preprint arXiv:2001.11586},
  year = {2020}
}