This paper presents detailed modeling and experimental testing of wing rotation and lift in the LionFly, a flapping wing mechanism powered by piezoelectric bimorph actuators fabricated using SUEX dry film. The goal of this paper is to understand the flapping and rotation dynamics and the lift-producing mechanisms in this device. A linear vibrational model is developed and augmented with nonlinear aerodynamic forces using the blade element method. Experimental testing using a laser vibrometer in air and in vacuum characterizes small amplitude flapping and rotation. Strobe photography and high definition image processing measures high amplitude wing trajectories. A lift measurement system using a force transducer is designed and used to measure average lift in the LionFly. The LionFly produces 46° peak flapping and 44° peak rotation resulting in lift of 71 μN at 37 Hz.

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