This paper presents an analytical model for the dynamics of a cluster of flexible cylinders, the extremities of which are structurally interconnected, e.g., through “end plates” or other kinds of structural connectors. These connectors are modeled by sets of translational and rotational springs, such that resistance to both in-plane and out-of-plane deformation of the connectors is fully taken into account. The dynamics of the system in vacuum is examined here, and especially the effect of varying the different spring stiffnesses on the system eigenfrequencies. This provides a reference base and the necessary analytical tools for the study of the system in axial flow, which is presented as Part 2 of this work.

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