Inertial Measurements from Flight Data of a Flapping-Wing Ornithopter Academic Article uri icon


  • A study was conducted to investigate flight dynamics of an ornithopter through inertial measurements. The inertial measurements were performed with the help of the inertial measurement unit (IMU), which is an essential component of an aircraft avionics package. It was demonstrated that the IMU consists of magnetometers, gyroscopes, and accelerometers that provided information on the orientation, rotational velocity, and linear acceleration of the ornithopter. The ornithopter used in the study was a modified version of the Slow Hawk II series of ornithopter, produced by Sean Kinkade. The specific model was selected for its comparatively easy flying and available payload. The wing sail was an arrangement of rip-stop polyester segments that were fastened together with Dacron tape. Standard aircraft notation was used to define coordinate frames, state variables, and control deflections. The measured flight data were transformed into the frequency domain, to illuminate the harmonics.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Grauer, J. A., & Hubbard, J.

citation count

  • 31

complete list of authors

  • Grauer, Jared A||Hubbard, James E Jr

publication date

  • January 1, 2009 11:11 AM