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Aerospace 2017, 4(3), 37; doi:10.3390/aerospace4030037

Bio-Inspired Flexible Flapping Wings with Elastic Deformation

1
Temasek Laboratories, National University of Singapore, 5A Engineering Drive 1, 117411 Singapore, Singapore
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore, 9 Engineering Drive 1, 117576 Singapore, Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mohammad Sadraey
Received: 8 June 2017 / Revised: 11 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 15 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Design)

Abstract

Over the last decades, there has been great interest in understanding the aerodynamics of flapping flight and development of flapping wing Micro Air Vehicles (FWMAVs). The camber deformation and twisting has been demonstrated quantitatively in a number of insects, but making artificial wings that mimic those features is a challenge. This paper reports the development and characterization of artificial wings that can reproduce camber and twisting deformations. By replacing the elastic material at the wing root vein, the root vein would bend upward and inward generating an angle of attack, camber, and twisting deformations while the wing was flapping due to the aerodynamic forces acting on the wing. The flapping wing apparatus was employed to study the flexible wing kinematics and aerodynamics of real scale insect wings. Multidisciplinary experiments were conducted to provide the natural frequency, the force production, three-dimensional wing kinematics, and the effects of wing flexibility experienced by the flexible wings. The results have shown that the present artificial wing was able to mimic the two important features of insect wings: twisting and camber generation. From the force measurement, it is found that the wing with the uniform deformation showed the higher lift/power generation in the flapping wing system. The present developed artificial wing suggests a new guideline for the bio-inspired wing of the FWMAV. View Full-Text
Keywords: flapping wing micro air vehicle; bio-inspired; flexible wing; camber deformation; aerodynamics flapping wing micro air vehicle; bio-inspired; flexible wing; camber deformation; aerodynamics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Truong, T.V.; Nguyen, Q.-V.; Lee, H.P. Bio-Inspired Flexible Flapping Wings with Elastic Deformation. Aerospace 2017, 4, 37.

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