Modelling of the dynamics of a flapping wing micro air vehicle for stability analysis

Victor M Mwongera, Mark H Lowenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


The subject of flapping wing Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) has been an area of increasing interest, especially in the fields of Aerodynamics and Vehicle Dynamics. Recent innovations in both computational models and unsteady aerodynamics have led to predictions in the performance of aerodynamic models that are very close to the observed flight of natural flyers that operate in the same regime (insects and birds). This has allowed for the development of body models of these proposed MAVs. However, the low Reynolds number region in which they operate, coupled with the periodic nature of the inputs to the control surface and the flexibility of the primary force-generating surfaces, has led to models that are far from conventional, well established models used in the aerospace industry. This paper examines the development of a flapping wing Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV) model in longitudinal flight. The model seeks to include mainly the aerodynamic and inertial contributions from the flapping motion and examines the stability of the resulting states of the body, particularly examining the longitudinal stability. The aim is to produce a continuous and time-invariant model suited for analysis by continuation methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalMathematics in Engineering, Science and Aerospace
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Flapping wing Micro Aerial Vehicle; MAV Flapping


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