In this work we proposed using electrical-discharge-wire-machining(EDWM) technique and flexible materials to greatly reduce the body mass of a flapping micro aerial vehicle (MAV). EDWM is accessed to fabricate the main structure of the four-bar linkage gear transmission module, and carbon-fibers, PET (polyethylene terephthalate), and parylene (poly-para-xylylene) films are assigned as the materials of wing frames. We constructed the new flapping MAV of 21.6 cm wing span and with a smallest body mass of 5.9 g to set a maximum endurance of 6 min 7 sec flight record so far while the wingbeat frequency being about 10-20 Hz. Our flexible MAV exhibits an improved characteristic in scaling laws with respect to wingbeat frequency (versus body mass).
Journal of Aeronautics, Astronautics and Aviation Series A 41(3), pp.165-172