This paper describes a multibody dynamics approach to the modeling of rotorcraft systems and reviews the key aspects of the simulation procedure. The multibody dynamics analysis is east within the framework of nonlinear finite element methods, and the element library includes rigid and deformable bodies as well as joint elements. No modal reduction is performed for the modeling of flexible bodies. The structural and joint element library is briefly described. The algorithms used to integrate the resulting equations of motion with maximum efficiency and robustness are discussed. Various solution procedures, static, dynamic, stability, and trim analyses, are presented. Postprocessing and visualization issues are also addressed. Finally, the paper concludes with selected rotorcraft applications. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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