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Introduction To Project Essay

973 words - 4 pages

Three major achievements in aviation have been achieved in the last three centuries. Balloon flight by the Montgolfier brothers in 1873, glider flight by Otto Lilienthal in the 1890's, and the Wright brother's engine powered flight in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, NC [1]. Although these accomplishments in history are astounding in the field of aerodynamics, they are far from the discovered pictorial discovered by archeologist's representations of man attempting flight in prehistoric caves dating back more than 4000 years ago. The phenomenon of flight and aviation in biological organisms has inspired numerous inventors of past centuries to apply these inspirations in their work. Until recently, there are only few counts in history where a flapping wing aircraft, known as an ornithopters, where successfully completed compared to fixed wing and propeller driven aircraft post 1903. During research evaluation, to simulate a natural flapping frequency with the use of mechanical actuation has been challenging and limited to mechanical actuation [2],[3]. Mechanical actuation being utilized inhibits the efficiency, overall performance, and creates additional noise pollution. The following research looks at the use of commercially available macro fiber composites (MFC) in the generation of motion within a solid state aircraft to develop a more natural method of flapping actuation. MFC's simulate a natural frequency method of flapping. Utilizing imperial data from bird flight, complex vortex calculations and equations have been derived for existing researchers were utilized in the calculation and construction of the aircraft wings structural and material selection [4]. Deflections, bending moments, and coefficient of linear thermal expansion of elastic materials where modeled in Autodesk Inventor and lab tested with the use of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software and confirmed with actual constructed models.
Ornithopters have the ability to maneuver in close proximity areas by utilizing forward flight and hovering. For a flapping winged aircraft to be able to maintain a stable flight or a stable hovering position there are multiple initial considerations, the wings oscillation rate, angle of attack, and the tail placement. Since ornithopters are primarily small scale aircraft, with low payload capabilities, most are radio controlled using short range wireless receivers with a 2.4 GHz ISM band and a RF module for increased distance [5]. To prevent unstable flight characteristics either when flying forward or hovering in a single location a feedback controller can make subtle changes to return to a stable flight. The controller can maintain a stable hovering position when an accelerometer provides feedback allowing the processor to change the wing pitch and beats or a combination to be adaptive to a changing environment [6]. The placement of the tail affects the forward flight of the ornithopter.
The use of a wireless transmitter to pilot...

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