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Aerodynamic Load Modeling for Structural Analysis of a Flapping Wing

Hoon Cheol Park


Wing is one of the most important structures in a flapping wing vehicle. Besides determining the aerodynamic performances of the vehicle, its frames also carry the aerodynamic load transferred from the wing membrane. Hence, the structure of wing for a flapping-wing micro aerial vehicle (FW-MAV) should be well designed and carefully studied. In order to investigate bending and twisting characteristics of a flapping wing, we have built a simple FEM model using 3-nodes-beam elements for the frames and 6-nodes-triangular elements for the membranes. We have
studied three models of loading for the mid-downstroke stage and applied those loading cases on the wing then calculated the deflection of the wing. The comparison between the simulation results and measurement by high-speed camera images of the wing showed that uniform load over the area can reasonably represents the wing bending and twisting characteristics even though the non-uniformly distributed load model provided more accurate deformation.

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