Flapping Wing Aerodynamics Research Project

Project Name Funding Body Industrial Partners Academic/Research Partners Duration
Flapping wing aerodynamics University of Liège N/A N/A 2008-2012

Flapping wing aerodynamics is becoming an increasingly important area of research. Applications range from the development of ornithopters (both manned and unmanned) to the improvement of the understanding of bird flight. The ULg wind tunnel is carrying out a research project aimed at expanding the knowledge of flapping flight.

The main objective of the research project is the evaluation of the thrust efficiency of various flapping attitudes. To this end, a flapping wing model was developed and built. Wind tunnel tests investigate the effect of pitch and flap motions on thrust generation; observations include aerodynamic force measurements and unsteady flow visualization. A first version of the model has already been tested, to be followed soon by a more advanced version.

The first (top) and second (bottom) versions of the flapping wing model in the ULg wind tunnel

Two different flapping attitudes of version 1

Single and tandem wing flapping of version 2