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

01/24/2020 ∙ by David Colmenares, et al. ∙ 0

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 production by 35.3 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.

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