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Project:

Ornithopter

Contents
MOTIVATION ........................................................................................................................................................................... 3
INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................................................................................................... 5
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ....................................................................................................................................................... 6
TEAM ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 7
PARTS OF THE ORNITHOPTER ........................................................................................................................................ 8
WINGS .................................................................................................................................................................................... 8
GEAR ASSEMBLY ........................................................................................................................................................... 11
FLAPPING MECHANISM ............................................................................................................................................. 14
TAIL ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 17
FUSELAGE ......................................................................................................................................................................... 19
Components ............................................................................................................................................................... 20
COST ANALYSIS ........................................................................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.
REFERENCES ............................................................................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.
CONTACT DETAILS OF THE VENDORS .......................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
GEAR ASSEMBLY ..................................................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
FLAPPING MECHANISM ....................................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
TAIL ............................................................................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
FUSELAGE ................................................................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.


MOTIVATION
It is natural for everyone to be amazed at the sight of any flight. This is the
underlying source of inspiration for this [reject.

We had another project in mind: a flying search vehicle which had the capability to
search for lives in floods: the fact that someone is drowned does not imply he/she is
dead. It detects the heart beat and navigates towards it. It flies some inches above the
water level. This project was a childhood dream of a team-member, who had very
closely grown with the problems of such situations.

This project (Ornithopter), was more driven to get a 'wow' project. We looked at
nature, which has numerous engineering marvels, and there was only one that
captivated everyone of us: birds.

Okay, now, how do birds fly?
This perplexed everyone of us. We looked at it in a more mechanical sense. We kept
this question aside, i.e. took this for granted and tried to come up with ways to flap and
control it. By the end of the first discussion, we were pretty satisfied. Then we thought
that maybe its some-kind of valve mechanism in the wings which make them fly. It was
quite convincing (the fact that none of the team members are from aerospace
engineering did not give us more aerodynamically feasible mechanisms!)
Now, the control. We know that birds vary their flapping frequency, tail
movements, along with its, and wings' size and shape change.
This was where our first discussion ended.

Then we started searching on the internet for some leads which will help us in a
more decisive way. Then we came to know about ornithopters. We even found a small
tutorial in a website (which was completely dedicated to ornithopters). This came as a
shock, as the website even sold ornithopters. Now, it was a tough choice.
But, fortunately we did not find any web-site/page giving any detailed procedure or
specifications or measurements to make ornithopters. All we had were videos and
pictures. This, actually gave us an edge and confidence on the feasibility front!
INTRODUCTION

An ornithopter is a device that flies by flapping its wings - just like a bird.
Ornitotero - like Leonardo da Vinci termed them - are aircrafts heavier than air that fly
by flapping their wings.

The wings have a special feature of not only developing lift but also providing
with the necessary thrust.

It is a well-known fact that nature has been created with utmost perfection.
Ornithopters try to imitate the way a bird flies, thereby becoming a close to ideal flying
machine .
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We express our sincere thanks and deep gratitude to the people who really made
this SoE possible:

Prof. V G Idichandy, Dean Students, IIT Madras
Prof. T S Natarajan, Co-curricular Advisor, IIT Madras
Dr. H S N Murthy, Dept. of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Madras
Rajendran, Dean Students Office, IIT Madras
Dr. Sunetra Sarkar, Dept. of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Madras
Mr.Winston P J,Senior Mechanic , Electrical Shop, Central Workshop, IITM
Mr.Dilli Babu P,Senior Technician , Fitting Shop, Central Workshop, IITM
Mr.Senthilkumar P,Junior Mechanic , FRP Lab, Central Workshop, IITM
In-charge, CAD Lab, Machine Design Section, IITM

And the two who contribution is most invaluable:
Mr. Nandakumar K, Consultant for the SoE
Mr. Ravikanth A, Student Guide for the SoE

TEAM

-Mallela Srikant (Class of 2011, B Tech)
Email: mallela.srikant@gmail.com

-Dega Rohit Reddy (Class of 2012, Dual Degree)
Email: dega.rohit.iitm@gmail.com

-Navale Sanket Sunil (Class of 2012, Dual Degree)
Email: nsanketnavale@gmail.com

-N V Karthik (Class of 2011, B Tech)
Email: knadimpalli18@gmail.com

-T Vikranth Babu (Class of 2011, B tech)
Email: tvikranthbabu @gmail.com
PARTS OF THE ORNITHOPTER

The basic parts of the ornithopter:
Wings
Flapping Mechanism and Gearbox
Tail
Fuselage

WINGS

Material: Carbon Fibre rods & tubes

Initially we used to wonder how it is possible for the birds to fly. We came across
many figures and few explanations as to how the birds fly. We initially thought that the
flight of the birds is lift based rather than thrust based. And hence we started making
wing designs which have the mechanisms in which there were feather like members
which act like valves giving a unidirectional flow. The following are those three
designs:


Then we realised that making wings with feathers required the right material. We
could not find any literature indicating the type of material that could be used. The
professors here in the department of MME were also not sure and could not guide us in
any direction. Some of them had suggested that we could use normal polythene sheets.
We then made sample feathers but they never gave the results we wanted. Another
problem was the need of sophisticated equipment to ensure that both the wings
perfectly identical.

Then we came across some literature which gave some insight in making
mechanical birds and their flight. The wings, on which they had tested and which had
given some positive results, had two sections: one fixed inner part, and the other a
flexible outer part. Some of the pictures showed that the inner part of the wings had
air-foil section made from balsa.
We then searched for air-foils similar to those that in birds. We found a literature of
an experiment suggesting GM 15 airfoil. It has an coefficient of lift of about 1.25 at an
angle of attack of about 9 degrees. We incorporated these in our design. The span of
each wing was 65cm. The inner part was a triangle with one side(of length 40cm) on
the wing spar, other(of length 30cm) on the chord. The wing spar was constructed in
the following way: a 5mm*3mm C.F. tube was inserted till a length of 27cm on a
3mm*67cm C.F. rod. The two were glued together with Araldite-epoxy resin.
There were two cross-rods (one, the hypotenuse of the above mentioned triangle)
and another at an offset of 2cm, running parallel to it. These were of 2mm C.F. rods.
The radially running 'stocks' were also made out of 2mm C.F. rods. The position of
these is explained in the figure. The fixed inner part had the air-foil section. This inner-
part was reinforced with C.F. tape and covered by the conventional monocoat. The
flexible outer part was covered with normal polythene sheet. The weight of the two
wings combined was about 150g.
On flap test, these wings used to give a good feel of thrust(we never measured it).
The glide test with these wings with tail control never gave any stable flight. It used
either climb, stall and fall or directly fall steeply.
Our consultant Mr. Nandakumar advised us on significant weight reduction.
On his advice and guidance, we were able to reduce by as much as 75g by removing
the air-foil section, and simplifying the wing design.




Procedure to join two C.F. rods at a given angle:
Keep the C.F. rods at the given angle and tie a few rounds of thread around it. Then
apply a couple of drops of cyano. Once again check the angle, if correct, nicely tie
around the joins from all directions and then apply enough cyano.
Procedure for fixing the hinge on the spar:
Making a small grove at the tip of the spar, place the hinge in its position. Tie a
round of thread at both the ends and then again check for the position and angle.
Extreme care need to be taken at this junction as the angle of attack of the wing is fixed
in this step. Once this is done, the hinge is fixed firmly by tying it with C.F. tape soaked
in araldite and is allowed to dry overnight.

Procedure for fixing the membrane:
The membrane on either ends was stuck to 1m steel scales and then streteched.
Now applying 'fevibond' on the wing skeleton and was placed on the membrane. Any
slackings were removes with the use of heat gun. Care should be taken to prevent
excessive usage of heat gun as the following may happen(!):
1. The membrane slacken further.
2. The C.F. rods may be in compression. And a slight radial force will bend the rods.
3. The membrane may burn leaving a hole. This is very frustrating after all the
hard work.
GEAR ASSEMBLY

Material: EN24 (gears), GRP (gear housing)

The gear assembly is the system which has been designed to enhance torque from
the brushless motor. The gear assembly was designed for a dual crank system - it has
two output drives.

The CAD diagram for the gear assembly is attached below:







Gear Reduction in 3 stages, each stage consisting of a reduction of 22/6.
Gear type - Spur gears
Module - 0.5
Material - EN24 high carbon steel
Gears are of two sizes:
1) OD: 7mm, PC dia: 6mm
2) OD: 23mm, PC dia: 22mm

Symmetry is extremely important throughout all the components of an ornithopter.
Any unsymmetrical distribution of mass can have a very drastic effect during flight.
The design for the gear box is made so that it is symmetric about the vertical. Also,
having two output shafts helps maintain symmetry.

The gear assembly plates are of GRP plates of 2 mm thickness. We have had used
'flange bearings' to hold the gears in place and keep friction low. Flange bearings have
a sleeve on one side along the circumference this helps in gluing the bearing to the
plate by providing greater surface for application of adhesive. The bearings are fixed
on the plates such that, the flanges are on the inner side(side facing gears) of the plates
this ensures that bearings dont fall out of the plate. The bearings are fixed in the gear
plates (the gear housing) with Loctite. The gears are milled to their shape and placed
in between the gear plates and in the length on the gear shaft from the bearing surface
to the gear surface we place SS tubes to restrict any linear movement of gears.
Stainless Steel (SS) tubes also ensure that the bearing does not slip off over the gear
shaft. Four spacers made of SS tubes are placed between the gear assembly plates so
as to provide structural configuration required spacing for gears, and a screw-nut
system is used to lock the gear assembly about the spacers. After the gear assembly is
completely fixed reduce any extra lengths of shafts and screws by grinding them this is
to reduce unnecessary weights. Now we fix the motor attached with its mount to the
gear assembly.
FLAPPING MECHANISM
Unlike in normal aircrafts an ornithopter attains thrust and lift by flapping its
wings.
This we achieved by a flapping motion of its wings. Its a fairly simple, symmetric
and effective mechanism. The wings are flapped continuously at a maximum frequency
of 3Hz, thereby attaining the required lift and thrust.

The rotational motion of the motor is converted to synchronized flapping action to
replicate the mechanism of flying of a bird. With the given structure of the wings, the
base of the wing spar shall be hinged to the fuselage. At a point, just before the hinge,
the spar is connected by a rod, which in turn is connected to a gear assembly

-Brushless outrunner motor with an 18Amp ESC.
-Max output rpm of 300

Making the gearbox and flapping mechanism:
- We made a CAD diagram of the gearbox as shown.
- Then according to the CAD diagram, we drilled holes in the gear plates using
DRO fitted milling machine. While drilling holes we drilled holes of sizes smaller
by 1mm than the required dimensions, then we filed the holes to ensure tight fit
of the bearings.
- Bearings were fixed in the gearbox plates by applying anabond on the
circumferential walls of the holes in it and immediately put the bearings in place
to avoid drying up of the glue.
- Make spacers from SS tubes with id of 2.2mm, to be placed at the four corners of
the gearbox.
- We got cylinders of EN24 material turned in the shapes shown, on which gears
would be cut.
- We kept an allowance of 2mm on the output shafts to be finished after the gears
were cut.
- We got the gears cut from a local manufacturer : DELTA GEARS.
- Once the gears were ready, we got holes of 4mm dia drilled in the gears as
shown in the diagram.
- We separated the discs to be fixed on the pinion gears with shafts.
- The discs were fixed on the shafts by TIG welding.
- All shafts were reduced by grinding so that the bearings were free on them.
- Next, we assembled all the gears and checked for any discrepancy.
- If there is any discrepancy when all the gears are assembled, a possible solution
is to further reduce one of the shafts which could free some locked gears.
- One of the most important steps in ensuring smooth operation of gears is to
clean all the teeth of the gears.
- Before the gearbox is permanently assembled, we checked if the discs on the
output shafts were in phase.
- They should be brought in phase by a series of trials.
- Then we fixed all the gears and placed spacers and closed the gearbox with
2mm screws at the 4 corners.
- Once the gearbox was ready, it was time to fix the push rods.
- The push rods were made of GRP (used in PCBs) two holes of 3mm and 2.5mm
were made at a distance of 32mm on each of the rods.
- The pushrod was fixed to the output disc by placing washers and screws on
either sides of the pushrod.
- Next we reduced the shaft lengths and filed the gearbox plates to reduce its area.
- We fixed pinion gear on the motor shaft by gluing it with loctite and fix the
motor on its mount.
- Now we fix the motor mount to the gearbox plates.
- Then we oiled the gears and tested the gearbox by running the motor.
- Once the gearbox and the flapping mechanism was ready the wings were fixed
by placing the hinges on the wing spar through the SS tubes fixed in the gearbox
and and at the end of the fuselage.
- Next we placed the pushrods through the holes placed in them on the hinges
and output discs screws.
- Then we placed lockers on either sides of the hinges to avoid the wing from
slipping while flapping.
- All nuts were locked by applying fevibond and then tightening them.

TAIL

The tail of our Ornithopter is a characteristic V-tail at an angle of 135 degrees.
A V-tail (sometimes called a Butterfly tail) is an unconventional arrangement of the
tail control surfaces that replaces the traditional fin and horizontal surfaces with two
surfaces set in a V-shaped configuration when viewed from the front or rear of the
aircraft. The rear of each surface is hinged, and these movable sections or flaps,
sometimes called as ruddervators, combine the tasks of both the elevators and the rudder.

This arrangement of the flaps acts as a rudder

This arrangement of the flaps acts as an elevator

The skeleton of the V-tail was constructed using Carbon fiber rods and was covered
with light polythene sheet. The area of the tail must approximately be the total area
of the wings for good control. The area of our tail was 400 sq. centimeters. The
movable flaps which are connected to servos fitted on the fuselage by thin carbon fiber
extension rods are made out of 0.8 cm thick balsa wood and approximately 1.5 inches
in width.

We have tried out various designs of the tail before finalizing the V-tail. The first
one was a typical copy of a birds tail made out of thin plastic sheet spread over 2 thin
carbon fiber rods bound together at an angle of 70 degrees. This tail was mounted on a
servo which allowed it to move left and right. This servo was in turn mounted on
another servo which moved it in the vertical plane as shown below. This made the bird
technically controllable. While testing this tail the reaction time of turning was very
high and the bird was difficult to control. We then tried to increase the area of the tail,
though this gave the required result, the weight of the tail was more than that of an
equally good V-tail, hence we finalized on the V-tail.

The servos of the V-tail must be mixed in order to give us appropriate control.
Mixing of servos is basically making one servo dependant on the others reaction, i.e.
when you move the controller up both the servos move down and when you move the
controller left one servo moves down and the other moves up at the same time giving
the required result and making the control easier.


FUSELAGE

The fuselage is a simple structure made with just 2 carbon fibre rods one above
another. These are supported by attaching some transverse CF rods at required
intervals of the fuselage with thread and cyano acrylic glue.
All the electronic components i.e. battery, servos, electronic speed controller, micro
receiver are mounted on the fuselage with the help of rubber bands.

The gear box attached with motor is fixed in from the front part and the tail
assembly is attached at the rear end.
There is U-structure attached to the top rod just before the tail, which acts as the
rear hinges for the wings.

To protect the prototype during trial tests ,to give a protective outer shield ,we
used Thermocol and Styrofoam.
Block Diagram of the Fuselage:
Motor, Flapping
Mechanism
Battery, Receiver,
Servos
Tail










COMPONENTS

1 1000kv brushless outrunner motor
1 7.2V 500mAh Lithium Polymer battery
2 HS-55 micro servos
1 12A Electronic Speed Controller
1 72Mhz 4-Ch micro receiver

Pictures

Pictures of Various Section of Ornithopter:

Pictures of vdsdsssdsdsdsdsdsd










Pic from a news channel:









Picture from Time Of India


Picture from Eenadu(most Read Telugu Daily)