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Flight mechanics of a tailless articulated wing aircraft

Paranjape, Aditya A. and Chung, Soon-Jo and Selig, Michael S. (2011) Flight mechanics of a tailless articulated wing aircraft. Bioinspiration and Biomimetics, 6 (2). Art. No. 026005. ISSN 1748-3182.

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This paper investigates the flight mechanics of a micro aerial vehicle without a vertical tail in an effort to reverse-engineer the agility of avian flight. The key to stability and control of such a tailless aircraft lies in the ability to control the incidence angles and dihedral angles of both wings independently. The dihedral angles can be varied symmetrically on both wings to control aircraft speed independently of the angle of attack and flight path angle, while asymmetric dihedral can be used to control yaw in the absence of a vertical stabilizer. It is shown that wing dihedral angles alone can effectively regulate sideslip during rapid turns and generate a wide range of equilibrium turn rates while maintaining a constant flight speed and regulating sideslip. Numerical continuation and bifurcation analysis are used to compute trim states and assess their stability. This paper lays the foundation for design and stability analysis of a flapping wing aircraft that can switch rapidly from flapping to gliding flight for agile manoeuvring in a constrained environment.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Paranjape, Aditya A.0000-0002-3164-3215
Chung, Soon-Jo0000-0002-6657-3907
Additional Information:© 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd. Received 22 October 2010. Accepted 16 March 2011. Published 12 April 2011. The authors thank the anonymous reviewer for his helpful comments and suggestions which helped improve the paper to its present form. This project was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) under the Young Investigator Award Program (grant no FA95500910089) monitored by Dr Willard Larkin. The original problem was posed by Dr Gregg Abate (AFRL). This paper also benefitted from stimulating discussions with Mr Johnny Evers (AFRL). Dr Animesh Chakravarthy (Wichita State University) provided useful feedback and comments from the very inception of this work, and helped to refine the paper to the present state. Daniel Uhlig at UIUC provided the aerodynamic data in figure 4 as well as the approximations in (25). The authors also thank undergraduate research assistants James Holtman, Joseph Kim, Andrew Meister, Daniel Park and Jonathan Yong for their efforts with the experiments.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)FA95500910089
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161220-140818336
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Official Citation:Aditya A Paranjape et al 2011 Bioinspir. Biomim. 6 026005
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:72999
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:20 Dec 2016 23:28
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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