Date of Award

May 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Member

Oliver J Myers

Committee Member

Richard Miller

Committee Member

Yue Wang

Committee Member

Suyi Li


This dissertation investigates the CM$-$SCALE Flapping Wing of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (FWUAV) that can accommodate nacelles of the scale of current Unmanned Air vehicle (UAV) designs are complex systems and their utilization is still in its infancy.

The improving design of unmanned aerial vehicle from previous teams by improving the wings and outer body of bird. So, to potentially improve wing design, a complaint joint mechanism is proposed in order to make wing flapping and provide lift and thrust needed to fly. Also, change the wing design from flat wing to airplane wing by using two different airfoils, NACA 0012 and s1223. For bird's body change the internal body to ensure to contain all internal components and give more space for flapping wings. Concurrently a redesign of the outer shell by making it smoother and lighter will be commensurate with the updated design. In addition, development of an evaluation methodology for the capability of a flapping wing to replication design loads by using computational fluid dynamic CFD by using fluid structure interaction in 2D and 3D analysis.

We will investigate the design and analysis of the flapping wing. Specifically, this includes:

1. Review of cm−Scale Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Model and design

(a) Investigate flapping Mechanism.

(b) Investigate gear mechanism

2. Analysis of flapping wings for MAV

(a) Select Airfoils for flapping wing.

(b) Analyze Flapping Wings.

(c) Make recommendations for Tail design for MAV.

(d) Make recommendations for the improved design of MAV body.

3. Development of Finite Element flapping wing Model.

(a) 2D computational analysis for Airfoils.

i. NACA0012 Airfoil.

ii. s1223 Airfoil.

(b) 3D computational analysis with different shape of wings.

i. Relationship between critical parameters and performance.

ii. Design Optimization.

Which is new key to make flapping wing close to the nature or real flapping wing, a new wing design inspired from nature exactly from thrush and scaled to our design. Starting from gear design by choose proper gear system. Then redesign the wings to commensurate with new bird. Computational fluid analysis also will used to replicate the loads needed to fly. This is another important area in which the literature is not offering guidance.

Addresses the lack of an overview paper in the literature that outlines the challenges of testing a full$-$scale flapping wing Unmanned aerial vehicle onto laminar flow test and suggests research direction to address these challenges. Although conceptual in nature, this contribution is expected to be significant given that it takes experience in the unmanned vehicle industry to determine what challenges matter and need to be addressed. The growth in testing full-scale unmanned air vehicle using a laminar flow test being recent limits the number of people who can offer the perspective needed to suggest a research roadmap.



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