Most aeroelastic codes used today assume small blade deflections and application of loads on the undeflected structure. However, with the design of lighter and more flexible wind turbines, this assumption is not obvious. By scaling the system mass and stiffness properties equally, it is possible to compare wind turbines of different degrees of slenderness and at the same time keep system frequencies the same in an undeformed state. The developed model uses the commercial finite element system MSC. Marc, focused on non-linear design and analysis, to predict the structural response. The aerodynamic model AERFORCE, used to transform the wind to loads on the blades, is a blade element momentum model. A comparison is made between different slenderness ratios in three wind conditions below rated wind speed. The results show that large blade deflections have a major influence on power production and the resulting structural loads and must be considered in the design of very slender turbines. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.