Several successful methods for balancing flexible rotating shells have been developed in recent years. The methods can apparently be subdivided into a group which is based on modal characteristics and another set which employs influence coefficients. The relative merits of these two approaches have been the subject of much discussion and argument — most of it inconclusive and rather fruitless. The authors consider that in practice many of the differences are more apparent than real and that they seem to occur because the various techniques are normally presented in relatively simple and ideal, theoretical terms. This paper represents the start of a joint project which hopes to resolve the apparent differences and, eventually, develop a unified approach to such balancing. A discussion of the theoretical basis for this unified approach is presented along with a description of a test program conducted to explore the possibilities of such an approach.

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