Biomimetic air vehicles (BAV) are a class of unmanned aircraft that mimic the flapping wing kinematics of flying organisms (e.g. birds, bats, and insects). Research into BAV has rapidly expanded over the last 30 years. In this paper, we present a comprehensive bibliometric review of engineering and biology journal articles that were published on this subject between 1984 and 2014. These articles are organized into five topical categories: aerodynamics, guidance and control, mechanisms, structures and materials, and system design. All of the articles are compartmented into one of these categories based on their primary focus. Several aspects of these articles are examined: publication year, number of citations, journal, authoring organization and country, non-academic funding sources, and the flying organism focused upon for bio-mimicry. This review provides useful information on the state of the art of BAV research and insight on potential future directions. Our intention is that this will serve as a resource for those already engaged in BAV research and enable insight that promotes further research interest.