Continuous ongoing efforts to better predict the mechanical behaviour of complex beam-like structures, such as wind turbine blades, are motivated by the need to improve their performance and reduce the costs. However, new design approaches and the increasing flexibility of such structures make their aero-elastic modelling ever more challenging. For the structural part of this modelling, the best compromise between computational efficiency and accuracy can be obtained via schematizations based on suitable beam-like elements. This paper addresses the modelling of the mechanical behaviour of beam-like structures which are curved, twisted and tapered in their unstressed state and undergo large displacements, in- and out-of-plane cross-sectional warping and small strains. A suitable model for the problem at hand is proposed. Analytical and numerical results obtained by its application are presented and compared with results from 3D-FEM analyses.
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