Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Wade W. Huebsch

Committee Co-Chair

John L. Loth

Committee Member

Patrick H. Browning


The design of a solid-membrane folding wing for use on a tube launched micro air vehicle (MAV), and experimental wind tunnel results of the wing integrated on an engineering MAV model are presented herein. Due to the sizing and performance requirements of the MAV, the wing must provide sufficient wing area while minimizing its stowed footprint. Many current available methods for folding the wing for such a MAV sacrifice aerodynamic efficiency or are cost prohibitive. The solid-membrane wing design presented blends elements of a solid semi-rigid wing with those of a membrane wing. This provides the aerodynamic efficiency of a wing with conventional airfoils and reduces the required storage volume of the wing when folded. In order to demonstrate the performance benefits of the wing, the wing was integrated via 3D modeling into an engineering MAV model along with other MAV components including tail control fins, actuators, and other useful payloads. Wind tunnel testing over the anticipated flight regime was also conducted to evaluate the L/D performance of the solid-membrane winged MAV model to that of a conventional solid winged MAV model. The results indicate the solid-membrane folding wing design has satisfactory aerodynamic performance at a lower cost.