Vibration energy harvesting has received considerable attention in the research community over the past decade. Typical vibration harvesting systems are designed to be added on to existing host structures and capture ambient vibration energy. An interesting application of vibration energy harvesting exists in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), where a multifunctional approach, as opposed to the traditional method, is needed due to weight and aerodynamic considerations. The authors propose a multifunctional design for energy harvesting in UAVs where the piezoelectric harvesting device is integrated into the wing of a UAV and provides energy harvesting, energy storage, and load bearing capability. The brittle piezoceramic layer of the harvester is a critical member in load bearing applications; therefore, it is the goal of this research to investigate the bending strength of various common piezoceramic materials. Three-point bend tests are carried out on several piezoelectric ceramics including monolithic piezoceramics PZT-5A and PZT-5H, single crystal piezoelectric PMN-PZT, and commercially packaged QuickPack devices. Bending strength results are reported and can be used as a design tool in the development of piezoelectric vibration energy harvesting systems in which the active device is subjected to bending loads.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.