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The unique nature of the aerodynamic characteristics of rotorcraft requires significantly different modelling techniques from fixed-wing aircraft. The major difference is the radial and azimuthal variation of loads in forward flight which fundamentally complicates the flow field requiring fully three-dimensional and unsteady modelling of the aerodynamics. In conjunction, rotor blades also exhibit strong aeroelastic behaviour as an occurrence of the interactions between the aerodynamic and inertial forces on the blade. This aeroelastic behaviour means that the blades undergo flapping, torsional, and lead-lagging motion which is a function of the blades azimuthal position.
To address the aforementioned issues, comprehensive numerical tools are required which can appropriately model both the complex rotor flow field and the aeroelastic response of the rotor blades within a single process. This entails the coupling of flow solvers with structural solvers to exchange airloads computed within the flow solver to the structural solver and blade deflections computed within the structural solver to the flow solver.