This paper describes the research into the flight dynamics modelling and flight control of a flapping wing micro aerial vehicle (MAV). The equations of motion based on a multi-body representation of the vehicle and the flapping wings were derived and form the basis for the simulation program, which was developed using MATLAB and SIMULINK. The aerodynamic forces were obtained through experimental methods and form the basis for the aerodynamic model.
The hovering and low speed flight of the MAV was investigated using a SIMULINK simulation model. Various flight control concepts, inspired by observation of insect and bird flight, were investigated in some detail. The concepts include the control of flap frequency, flap and pitch phasing (wing beat kinematics) and shift in centre of gravity position. The paper concludes with a comparison of the control concepts and their feasibility for a practical vehicle application.