An approach for loaded tooth contact analysis of skew conical gear drives in approximate line contact is proposed. The meshing analysis is based on the characteristic of the line of action of involute gearing. The contact problem is solved numerically giving due consideration to the influences of the tooth contact deformation and tooth bending deflection. The proposed approach is efficient and practical not only for cases of non-Hertzian contact, but also for gear drives with end-relieved or modified flanks. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.