Structural dynamics is a key discipline in aircraft design and certification. The realm of structural dynamics includes problems in which structure flexibility is important, such as dynamic loads (landing, taxi, gust, turbulence...), but it also includes other areas like environmental vibration or impacts technology. This is closely related with its sister discipline Aeroelasticity.
Linearity has been the cornerstone assumption in aircraft design engineering solutions. In the past, linearity allowed to solve many structural dynamics problems that otherwise would have been unaffordable. Nowadays, the necessity of highly optimised structures, combined to an increase of computer power, has made this assumption to be reconsidered.
This paper presents a wide survey on non-linear topics in structural dynamics and the way they have been solved at EADS-CASA (Airbus military) in the past 25 years. Although the paper has been mainly focused on numerical simulation using the Finite Element Method technique, component tests and full aircraft tests are also presented.