Experimental investigations on biologically inspired airfoils for MAV applications
Two studies were conducted exploring the use of biologically inspired airfoils in the design of Micro Air Vehicles. The first study was concerned with the flow behavior around a corrugated dragonfly wing; the second study investigated the flow behavior around a flexible membrane airfoil. Both studies were conducted at Chord Reynolds number flows typical for MAVs. The corrugated dragonfly model had superior performance when compared to the traditional streamlined airfoil, preventing large-scale flow separation and airfoil stall at low Reynolds numbers. Flexible membrane airfoils hold the promise of significant performance enhancements over rigid airfoils due to the flexible deformation of their cambered shape responding to incoming airflows.