Insect-scale flapping wing flight vehicles can conduct environmental monitoring, disaster assessment, mapping, positioning and security in complex and challenging surroundings. To develop bio-inspired flight vehicles, systematic probing based on the particular category of flight vehicles is needed. This Element addresses the aerodynamics, aeroelasticity, geometry, stability and dynamics of flexible flapping wings in the insect flight regime. The authors highlight distinct features and issues, contrast aerodynamic stability between rigid and flexible wings, present the implications of the wing-aspect ratio, and use canonical models and dragonflies to elucidate scientific insight as well as technical capabilities of bio-inspired design.
2. Flexible wing aeroelasticity
3. Stability and dynamics of flexible flapping wings
4. Aerodynamic interactions of tandem winged systems based on dragonflies
5. Effects of aspect ratio on flapping wing aerodynamics
6. Perspectives and future outlook
Csaba Hefler is a Hong Kong Ph.D. Fellowship awardee, currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). He received his MSc degree from Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary. He is passionate about nature observation and outdoor activities.
Chang-Kwon Kang is an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Huihe Qiu is the Head and Professor of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). He received BS/MS degrees from Tianjin University in China and PhD degree from the Institute of Fluid Mechanics at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.
Wei Shyy is the President of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). Prior to joining HKUST, he was Clarence L. 'Kelly' Johnson Collegiate Professor and Chairman of Aerospace Engineering of the University of Michigan.