Glide and powered flight characteristics of micro air vehicles from experimental measurements

Arjun H. Rao, Daniel V. Uhlig, Michael S. Selig

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Aerodynamic characteristics of Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) is not well addressed in aeronautics literature, and more experimental data are required to help better understand the behavior of fixed-wing MAVs. In the current research, aerodynamic characteristics of two MAVs were measured using a motion tracking system. The aircraft used were flat-foam surface, highly-aerobatic, micro RC models. Tests were conducted in glide and powered flight conditions to assess the aerodynamic performance of a commercially manufactured Extra 300 3D and a custom-built Extra 260 with wingspans of 42.67 cm (16.8 in) and 41.27 cm (16.25 in), respectively. The results presented show the longitudinal aerodynamic characteristics of the MAVs over a range of angle of attack at a nominal Reynolds number of 25,000. The influence of low Reynolds numbers effects on the aerodynamic characteristics and performance of the aircraft are discussed. The aerodynamic characteristics in powered flight were analyzed by testing the Extra 300 3D over a range of propeller advance ratios. Results indicate an increase in the slope of the lift curve and reduction in drag with decreasing propeller advance ratios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication30th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference 2012
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781624101854
StatePublished - 2012
Event30th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference 2012 - New Orleans, LA, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2012Jun 28 2012

Publication series

Name30th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference 2012


Conference30th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans, LA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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