Multibody Model of an Ornithopter Academic Article uri icon


  • The nonlinear multibody flight dynamics of an ornithopter and the equations into a canonical form that is convenient to perform the system identification, nonlinear controller synthesis, and simulation case studies required to realize an autonomous ornithopter has been reported. Multibody model of an ornithopter which is receiving growing attention from hobbyists and researchers as interest in promising new vehicle designs, made possible by miniaturizations in electronics and improvements in materials manufacturing. The ornithopter is modeled as a system of five rigid bodies, consisting of three chains emanating in a tree structure from a central fuselage body. The dynamic equations of motion describe the evolution of the velocity states as a function of the applied forces and torques on the system. This canonical form is convenient for system identification and simulation, can be augmented easily for different aircraft configurations, and has a minimal number of state equations with known properties.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics

author list (cited authors)

  • Grauer, J. A., & Hubbard, J. E.

citation count

  • 41

complete list of authors

  • Grauer, Jared A||Hubbard, James E

publication date

  • September 2009