Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Anthony N. Palazotto, PhD.


In recent years, researchers have expressed a vested interest in the concepts surrounding flapping wing micro air vehicles (FWMAVs) that are capable of both range and complex maneuvering. Most research in this arena has found itself concentrated on topics such as flapping dynamics and the associated fluid-structure interactions inherent in the motion, however there still remains myriad questions concerning the structural qualities intrinsic to the wings themselves. Using nature as the template for design, FWMAV wings were constructed using carbon fiber and Kapton and tested under simplified flapping conditions by analyzing frozen' digital images of the deformed wing by methods of photogrammetry. This flapping motion was achieved via the design and construction of a flapper that emulates several of the kinematic features that can be seen in naturally occurring flyers. The response to this motion was then compared to the inspiring specimen's wings, the North American Hawkmoth (Manduca Sexta), under the same flapping conditions in order to identify some of the key features that nature has deemed necessary for successful flight.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number