Design load simulations for wind turbines are traditionally based on the bladeelement- momentum theory (BEM). The BEM approach is derived from a simplified representation of the rotor aerodynamics and several semi-empirical correction models. A more sophisticated approach to account for the complex flow phenomena on wind turbine rotors can be found in the lifting-line free vortex wake method. This approach is based on a more physics based representation, especially for global flow effects. This theory relies on empirical correction models only for the local flow effects, which are associated with the boundary layer of the rotor blades. In this paper the lifting-line free vortex wake method is compared to a stateof- the-art BEM formulation with regard to aerodynamic and aeroelastic load simulations of the 5MW UpWind reference wind turbine. Different aerodynamic load situations as well as standardised design load cases that are sensitive to the aeroelastic modelling are evaluated in detail. This benchmark makes use of the AeroModule developed by ECN, which has been coupled to the multibody simulation code SIMPACK.