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A Novel Hybrid Design of an Insect-Based Micro Air Vehicle Capable of Sustained and Controlled Flight

Quoc-Viet Nguyen, Woei Leong Chan, Marco Debiasi


We describe our novel hybrid design between
flapping wing and fixed wing that is capable of sustained and
controlled flight. The design of flapping wing micro air vehicle (FWMAV)
combines two flapping wings and two fixed wings to take
advantage of clap-and-fling effects at the end of each half flapping
stroke for high thrust production as well as dynamic flight stability
of the FW-MAV. Equipped with an onboard radio control system,
which consists of a radio receiver, an electronic speed control (ESC),
two servos for attitude flight control, and a single cell 3.7V/70mAh
lithium polymer (LiPo) battery, the FW-MAV (14.6 grams, 22 cm
tip-to-tip wing span) can demonstrate hovering flight, and sustained
and controlled flight of about three minutes. Force measurement
indicated that the FW-MAV produces thrust of 14.76 grams for liftoff
at 10 Hz, and flaps at maximal frequency of 12.4 Hz with cycleaverage
vertical thrust of about 23.52 grams. The effect of wing claps
at dorsal and ventral sides significantly increase cycle-average
vertical thrust up to about 44.82% when compared to the case
without wing clap. Power measurement indicates that the efficiency
of the gearbox without wing attached is more than 80%, and the
maximal thrust-to-power ratio of the FW-MAV is about 4.17.

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