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9 April 2010 Ornithopter transition trajectories
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The design of stable trim conditions for forward flight and for hover has been achieved. In forward flight, an ornithopter is configured like a conventional airplane or large bird. Its fuselage is essentially horizontal and the wings heave in a vertical plane. In hover, however, the body pitches vertically so that the wing stroke in the horizontal plane. Thrust directed downward, the vehicle remains aloft while the downdraft envelops the tail to provide enough flow for vehicle control and stabilization. To connect these trajectories dynamically is the goal. The naïve approach-to choose two stable trajectories and switch between them-has been accomplished. A new approach is to establish an open-loop trajectory through a trajectory optimization algorithm-optimized for shortest altitude drop, shortest stopping distance, or lowest energy consumption.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
John M. Dietl and Ephrahim Garcia "Ornithopter transition trajectories", Proc. SPIE 7643, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2010, 76432D (9 April 2010);

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