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Home Events Events Archive 2012 "Development of the Nano Hummingbird: A Tailless Flapping Wing Micro Air Vehicle," by Matt Keennon AeroVironment, Inc.

"Development of the Nano Hummingbird: A Tailless Flapping Wing Micro Air Vehicle," by Matt Keennon AeroVironment, Inc.

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Thermo/Fluids Seminar Series

  • Thermo/Fluids Seminar Series
When Apr 13, 2012
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Contact Name
Contact Phone 310-206-4810
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AeroVironment has developed the Nano Hummingbird prototype aircraft as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Nano Air Vehicle program, which had the goal of developing a new class of unmanned air vehicles. These vehicles were to employ biological mimicry, have a maximum dimension of 7.5 cm, a total mass of 10 g or less including a 2 g payload, and a speed range from sustained hover up to 10 m/s.  This vehicle has demonstrated sustained hovering flight with propulsion and control achieved using only two flapping wings. The aircraft mimics the appearance of a biological hummingbird, and is capable of hovering continuously for several minutes, and flying at speeds up to 6.7 m/s, while transmitting color video to a remote ground station in real time. This presentation describes the development of the Nano Hummingbird, highlights its performance capabilities, and provides detail on the design of the aircraft subsystems.


Matt Keennon received a B.S. in Physics from UCLA. In his early professional work he developed computer controlled photographic equipment at ZBE Inc. Working in the aerospace field for 16 years, he concentrated on micro air vehicles at AeroVironment Inc. He also concentrated on the design of new and innovative aircraft which had not been developed before and primarily acted as a principal researcher and project manager. Matt Keennon is skilled in mechanical and electrical engineering, as well as, prototype model building. Most of his work is funded through the government by DARPA. He has worked on several aircraft designs over the years including several micro VTOLs. His concentration is on miniturization of propulsion, control, and airframes, with much work performed under a microscope. He has 30 years experience developing model aircraft and toy helicopters, some for mass production.

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