In this thesis, the aerodynamics of the Quad-Wing Vehicle, a Micro Air Vehicle designed to hover with four flapping wings in a dragonfly-like configuration, is investigated using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), potential flows analysis, and experimental testing. The CFD analysis investigates the kinematics-parameters design space and identifies values of kinematics parameters that maximize the vertical force production in hovering mode while minimizing the aerodynamic power requirement. It also investigates other important considerations, such as the effect of scaling, multi-wing interactions, and comparison with other flapping configurations. In the potential flows analysis, an unsteady 2D panel code is developed and compared with CFD for a broad range of hovering-flight simulations. The results show that, with further development, panel codes may be useful to designers of hovering flapping MAVs because of their time-saving potential compared to CFD. The experimental testing focuses on isolating the aerodynamic forces from other measured forces on a benchtop flapping device, and the findings of the experimental study will be useful for later researchers using experimental methods to study flapping MAV aerodynamics.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Aerodynamics; Micro air vehicles--Design and construction; Airplanes--Wings--Design and construction
Department, Program, or Center
Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)
Prosser, Daniel, "Flapping wing design for a dragonfly-like micro air vehicle" (2011). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus