Journal of Bionic Engineering

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 894–903 | Cite as

Dragonfly Inspired Nanocomposite Flapping Wing for Micro Air Vehicles

  • David KumarEmail author
  • Preetamkumar Marutrao Mohite
  • Sudhir Kamle


The current research is aimed towards the development of dragonfly inspired nanocomposite flapping wing for micro air vehicles (MAVs). The wing is designed by taking inspiration from the hind wing of dragonfly (Anax Parthenope Julius). Carbon nanotubes (CNTs)/polypropylene nanocomposite and low-density polyethylene are used as the wing materials. The nanocomposites are developed with varying CNTs’ weight percentage (0% – 1%) and characterized for dynamic mechanical properties, which revealed that the 0.1 weight percentage case produces highest storage modulus values throughout the frequency range (1 Hz – 90 Hz). It is also observed that the storage modulus values are in the range of Young’s modulus of veins and membrane of natural insect wings. This is useful to achieve true biomimicking. Advanced manufacturing technique such as photolithography is used for wing fabrication. The length, weight and average thickness of the fabricated wing are ~44 mm, 26.22 mg and 187 μm, respectively. The structural dynamic properties of the fabricated wing are obtained experimentally and computationally using DIC and ANSYS, respectively. The developed dragonfly inspired wing showed a natural frequency of 29.4 Hz with a bending mode shape which is close to the characteristic frequency of its natural counterpart.


flapping wings biomimicking nanocomposites MAVs 


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The authors thank 4i Lab from Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Kanpur and Lithography Lab from Department of Material Science and Engineering, IIT Kanpur for their help in the manufacturing of wing mold. Authors also thank ANSYS for providing the student version to carry out the computational finite element modal analysis study.


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Copyright information

© Jilin University 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Kumar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Preetamkumar Marutrao Mohite
    • 1
  • Sudhir Kamle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Aerospace EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology KanpurKanpurIndia

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