Experimental Aerodynamic Characteristics of Flapping Membrane Wings

Document Type : Original Article


1 Egyptian Armed Forces.

2 Professor, Aeronautical Engineering.


An experimental study has been conducted on the aerodynamic performance of a flapping membrane flying wing model. It is conducted in the low speed open wind tunnel on a flapping-wing model having two different membrane wings. Both wings have different weights but having the same batten tailoring and the same geometric characteristics. The model is fixed on a six component sting balance to measure the aerodynamic forces encounters the model. Data and image acquisition systems are developed including data analysis codes for analyzing the measured data. This analysis code enabling measuring the flapping frequency, the flapping angle with time history and the wing dynamic twist.
It is found that, the flexible wing is necessary in obtaining better aerodynamic performance at high flapping frequency. Membrane mass has a major effect on performance, where the performance increased for the Thrust results rather than Lift. The flapping stroke angle being an important parameter during flapping of the membrane wing. The results show a best performance in case of greater downstroke than upstroke angle. In zero forward speed experiments, the results show that the model is capable of performing vertical take-off.