Flapping wing unmanned aerial vehicles (FWUAVs) provide an alternative to traditional platforms because they are more maneuverable than fixed wing platforms while being faster, quieter, and more natural looking than rotary wing platforms. While real birds are able to execute complex and highly controlled aerobatic maneuvers, executing FWUAV aerobatics presents unique challenges due to difficulty in execution of controlled quick orientation change. This paper demonstrates a simple method for using a large 2 degree of freedom tail for quick orientation changes and flight control, enabling execution of a pre-programmed backflip maneuver on the Robo Raven V, a hybrid FWUAV. The platform reached angular velocities of up to 420° per second during the maneuver.

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