In search of a stable jelly-fish like flying machine
Description:Stephen Childress, Courant Institute
Abstract: Flapping-wing aircraft offer an alternative to helicopters in achieving maneuverable flight at small scales, although stabilizing such aircraft remains a key challenge. Experimental studies of the stable hovering of rigid structures in an
oscillating airflow suggest a design which mimics the flapping contractions of a jelly fish. We have constructed a prototype of such a craft, and test flown it in free flight with an external power source. Our results indicate the possibility of passively stable hovering of a flapping-wing craft.