Numerical Simulation of a Flexible X-Wing Flapping-Wing Micro Air Vehicle

Deng, S.
Perçin, Mustafa
van Oudheusden, B. W.
Bijl, H.
Remes, B.
Xiao, T.
Numerical simulations were performed to investigate the flowfield around a flexible flapping-wing micro air vehicle using an in-house-developed computational fluid dynamics solver. To include the dynamics of the flexible wings and its impact on the aerodynamic behavior of the micro air vehicle, the wing-deformation pattern during flapping was experimentally determined by a stereovision measurement. These data were subsequently interpolated to be employed as prescribed flapping kinematics in the numerical flow simulations, using a computational fluid dynamics solver that is based on a deformable overset-grid method. The computational results of the hovering configuration provide a quantitative prediction of the unsteady aerodynamics of the flapping-wing micro air vehicle in terms of aerodynamic force production and flow structures. The formation and evolution of the leading-/trailing-edge vortex and tip vortex were visualized. Additionally, by introducing an incoming freestream flow velocity in the simulations, the flowstructure related to the forward-flight configuration is investigated. The forces and the flow structures are compared with the experimental results from force and digital-particle-image-velocimetry measurements; a good agreement was illustrated that further evidenced the capability of the numerical methodology proposed in the present study.

Citation Formats
S. Deng, M. Perçin, B. W. van Oudheusden, H. Bijl, B. Remes, and T. Xiao, “Numerical Simulation of a Flexible X-Wing Flapping-Wing Micro Air Vehicle,” AIAA JOURNAL, vol. 55, no. 7, pp. 2295–2306, 2017, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: