The objective of this paper is to demonstrate that the numerical computation of the nonlinear normal modes (NNMs) of complex real-world structures is now within reach. The application considered in this study is the airframe of the Morane-Saulnier Paris aircraft, whose ground vibration tests have exhibited some nonlinear structural behaviors. The finite element model of this aircraft, elaborated from drawings, has more than 80000 degrees of freedom, and softening nonlinearities exist in the connection between the external fuel tanks and the wing tips. From this model, a reduced-order model, which is accurate in the [0–100Hz] range, is constructed using the Craig-Bampton technique. The NNMs of the reduced model are then computed using a numerical algorithm combining shooting and pseudo-arclength continuation. The results show that the NNMs of this full-scale structure can be computed accurately even in strongly nonlinear regimes and with a reasonable computational burden. Nonlinear modal interactions are also highlighted by the algorithm and are discussed.

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