The present study looks at the aerodynamic load generation capability of a flapping type MAV subjected to fluctuating wind. MAVs are subjected to constantly changing operating conditions. The performance of flapping wing MAVs, under these conditions, have not been explored in great detail. Accordingly, this work investigates the performance of flapping wings in the presence of gusts. Towards this, pure plunging kinematics is chosen and the body is subjected to frontal gusts with sinusoidally modelled temporal variations. Thereafter, the airfoil response to variation of plunge kinematic parameters is studied in comparison with quasi-steady loads. A typical gust cycle is composed of many plunge cycles. The mean thrust produced in each of these plunge cycles vary throughout the gust cycle. This variation depends on the change in non-dimensional plunging velocity in the gust cycle. It is observed that a plunging airfoil is able to suppress variations in thrust due to sharp changes in non-dimensional plunging velocities. © Springer India 2017.