RC ornithopter held in the air for almost nine minutes

Korean engineers have created a small two-winged RC ornithopter capable of conducting in the air to 8.8 minutes with no load and 7.5 minutes with landing legs and a cargo weight of which is similar to a small camera module and associated components. For the second indicator, new ornithopter is superior to the previous holder of the record with comparable weight and size. An article about the development published in arXiv.org.

Researchers have been trying to create a miniature alternative to the classic drones-multicopters to mimicking birds and insects with wings. In 2005, DARPA launched a program to develop a small flying robot for reconnaissance. To create a device, fully subject to the requirements of the program, failed, but the company is AeroVironment involved in it, has developed a lightweight, small ornithopter Nano Hummingbird. It had two wings and a body similar to a Hummingbird and also a small camera. Despite the fact that since its inception in 2011 it has been almost a decade and there have been many other developments in this field, the Lite version of this unit still holds the record for flight duration of a compact tailless ornithopter, amounting to 11 minutes, and the separation from peers is more than two times.

Park Chul-Hun (Hoon Cheol Park) of Konkuk University and his colleagues have created a new compact tailless ornithopter KUBeetle-S, which in loaded condition exceeds the duration of the flight Nano Hummingbird. The spacecraft’s weight is 15.8 grams, and the wingspan is 20 inches. He has a pair of wings, consisting of a Mylar film, a thin carbon fiber reinforced rods.

The wings are driven by a single electric motor, distributing the force on both wings. To maneuver the ornithopter has three sub-servo: two of them tip the top block, which hold the wings, and thereby tilt the thrust vector in the desired direction, by setting the roll and pitch. And to control yaw, i.e. rotation around the vertical axis, one of the actuators deflects the lower edges of the wings in opposite directions.

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