As part of a research project aimed at simulating rotor dynamic response during shipboard rotor startup and shutdown operations, a dynamic model of the ship–helicopter–rotor system that is appropriate for use in predicting rotor elastic response was developed. This planar model consists of a series of rigid bodies connected by rotational stiffness and damping elements that allow motion in the flapwise direction. The rotors were partitioned into an arbitrary number of rigid beam segments having the inertial and geometrical properties of a typical rotor. Helicopter suspension flexibility and damping were also modeled, although the helicopter was otherwise considered as a rigid body. Lagrange’s equation was used to derive the governing dynamic equations for the helicopter–rotor model. The effect of ship motion on blade deflection was also considered. The ship motion supplied as input to the model included representative frigate flight deck motion in three dimensions corresponding to an actual sea spectrum, ship particulars and ship operating conditions. This paper is intended to detail the dynamic approach adopted for this blade sailing study, and its conceptual validation in the planar case. The methodologies that have been developed lend themselves to easy expansion into three dimensions, and into torsion and lead/lag modeling. The amount of blade motion induced by ship motion on nonrotating helicopter blades is included. Although aerodynamic loads are a major contributor to blade sailing, this paper focuses on the dynamics aspect of the problem, and thus does not include aerodynamic effects.

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