, Volume 53, Issue 9, pp 2273–2286 | Cite as

Investigation on the planform and kinematic optimization of bio-inspired nano air vehicles for hovering applications

  • M. Hassanalian
  • G. Throneberry
  • A. AbdelkefiEmail author


Wing shape and kinematics of flapping wing nano air vehicles are two important factors in their design process. These factors require an optimal design in terms of decreasing the needed aerodynamic power. Since, insects are regarded as the best natural flier in hovering flight, seven of their wings are considered in order to determine the best wing shape for hovering applications. Because of the difference in the original bio-inspired shape of these wings, two scenarios are studied, namely, considering the same wingspan and same wing surface. Using the quasi-steady approximation to model the aerodynamic loads and a basic gradient approach to optimize the kinematics of the wing, the optimum Euler angles, required aerodynamic power, and hence the best wing shape for each scenario are analytically determined. The results show that the wing shape and surface strongly impact the aerodynamic characteristics and performances of the chosen wing shapes. It is demonstrated that the twisted parasite wing shape is a good candidate to minimize the required aerodynamic power during hovering. The strategy used in this analysis can be used to evaluate the performance of any realistic wing shape design and could provide a guideline for selecting the best wing shape and kinematics for flapping wing nano air vehicles with hovering capabilities.


Flapping wing Nano air vehicle Wing shape Flapping kinematic Hovering 



The authors (G.T and A.A) gratefully acknowledge the financial support from New Mexico Space Grant Consortium.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringNew Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA

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