Research Papers

An Experimental Study of Loss Sources in a Fan Operating With Continuous Inlet Stagnation Pressure Distortion

[+] Author and Article Information
Ewan J. Gunn

e-mail: ejg55@cam.ac.uk

Yann Colin

Whittle Laboratory,
University of Cambridge,
1 JJ Thomson Avenue,
Cambridge CB3 0DY, UK

Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) of ASME for publication in the Journal of Turbomachinery. Manuscript received July 17, 2012; final manuscript received September 3, 2012; published online June 24, 2013. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Turbomach 135(5), 051002 (Jun 24, 2013) (10 pages) Paper No: TURBO-12-1151; doi: 10.1115/1.4007835 History: Received July 17, 2012; Revised September 03, 2012

The viability of boundary layer ingesting (BLI) engines for future aircraft propulsion is dependent on the ability to design robust, efficient engine fan systems for operation with continuously distorted inlet flow. A key step in this process is to develop an understanding of the specific mechanisms by which an inlet distortion affects the performance of a fan stage. In this paper, detailed full-annulus experimental measurements of the flow field within a low-speed fan stage operating with a continuous 60 deg inlet stagnation pressure distortion are presented. These results are used to describe the three-dimensional fluid mechanics governing the interaction between the fan and the distortion and to make a quantitative assessment of the impact on loss generation within the fan. A 5.3 percentage point reduction in stage total-to-total efficiency is observed as a result of the inlet distortion. The reduction in performance is shown to be dominated by increased loss generation in the rotor due to off-design incidence values at its leading edge, an effect that occurs throughout the annulus despite the localized nature of the inlet distortion. Increased loss in the stator row is also observed due to flow separations that are shown to be caused by whirl angle distortion at rotor exit. By addressing these losses, it should be possible to achieve improved efficiency in BLI fan systems.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Smith, L. H., 1993, “Wake Ingestion Propulsion Benefit,” J. Propul. Power, 9(1), pp. 74–82. [CrossRef]
Kawai, R. T., Friedman, D. M., and Serrano, L., 2006, “Blended Wing Body (BWB) Boundary Layer Ingestion (BLI) Inlet Configuration and System Studies,” NASA Contract Report CR-2006-214534.
Hall, C. A., and Crichton, D., 2007, “Engine Design Studies for a Silent Aircraft,” ASME J. Turbomach., 129(3), pp. 479–487. [CrossRef]
Hall, C. A., Schwartz, E., and Hileman, J. I., 2009, “Assessment of Technologies for the Silent Aircraft Initiative,” J. Propul. Power, 25(6), pp. 1153–1162. [CrossRef]
MIT, Aurora Flight Sciences, and Pratt & Whitney, 2010, “N+3 Aircraft Concept Designs and Trade Studies, Final Report,” NASA Contract Report CR-2010-216794.
Felder, J. L., Kim, H. D., and Brown, G. V., 2009, “Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion Engine Cycle Analysis for Hybrid Wing Body Aircraft,” 47th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Orlando, FL, January 5–8, Paper No. AIAA 2009-1132.
Felder, J. L., Brown, G. V., Kim, H. D., and Chu, J., 2011, “Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion in a Hybrid Wing Body Aircraft,” 20th ISABE Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, September 12–16, Paper No. ISABE-2011-1340.
Plas, A. P., Sargeant, M. A., Madani, V., Crichton, D., Greitzer, E. M., Hynes, T. P., and Hall, C. A., 2007, “Performance of a Boundary Layer Ingesting (BLI) Propulsion System,” 45th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Reno, NV, January 8–11, Paper No. AIAA 2007-450.
Gorton, S. A., Owens, L. R., Jenkins, L. N., Allan, B. G., and Schuster, E. P., 2004, “Active Flow Control on a Boundary-Layer-Ingesting Inlet,” 42nd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Reno, NV, January 5–8, AIAA-2004-1203.
Owens, L. R., Allan, B. G., and Gorton, S. A., 2006, “Boundary-Layer-Ingesting Inlet Flow Control,” 44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Reno, NV, January 9–12, AIAA 2006-839.
Allan, B. G., Owens, L. R., and Lin, J. C., 2006, “Optimal Design of Passive Flow Control for a Boundary-Layer-Ingesting Offset Inlet Using Design-of-Experiments,” 44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Reno, NV, January 9–12, AIAA 2006-1049.
Liou, M.-S., and Lee, B. J., 2012, “Minimizing Inlet Distortion for Hybrid Wing Body Aircraft,” ASME J. Turbomach., 134(3), p. 031020. [CrossRef]
Williams, D. D., 1987, “Review of Current Knowledge of Engine Response to Distorted Inflow Conditions,” AGARD CP-400, Engine Response to Distorted Inflow Conditions, Munich, September 8–9, pp. 1-1–1-32.
Longley, J. P., and Greitzer, E. M., 1992, “Inlet Distortion Effects in Aircraft Propulsion System Integration,” AGARD LS-183, Steady and Transient Performance Prediction of Gas Turbine Engines, pp. 6-1–6-18.
Hynes, T. P., and Greitzer, E. M., 1987, “A Method for Assessing Effects of Circumferential Flow Distortion on Compressor Stability,” ASME J. Turbomach., 109(3), pp. 371–379. [CrossRef]
SAE, 1999, “Inlet Total-Pressure-Distortion Considerations for Gas-Turbine Engines,” Standard No. AIR1419 Revision A.
Greitzer, E. M., and Griswold, H. R., 1976, “Compressor-Diffuser Interaction With Circumferential Flow Distortion,” J. Mech. Eng. Sci., 18(1), pp. 25–38. [CrossRef]
Greitzer, E. M., Mazzawy, R. S., and Fulkerson, D. A., 1978, “Flow Field Coupling Between Compression System Components in Asymmetric Flow,” ASME J. Eng. Power, 100(1), pp. 66–72. [CrossRef]
Yao, J., Gorrell, S. E., and Wadia, A. R., 2010, “High-Fidelity Numerical Analysis of Per-Rev-Type Inlet Distortion Transfer in Multistage Fans—Part I: Simulations With Selected Blade Rows,” ASME J. Turbomach., 132(4), p. 041014. [CrossRef]
Yao, J., Gorrell, S. E., and Wadia, A. R., 2010, “High-Fidelity Numerical Analysis of Per-Rev-Type Inlet Distortion Transfer in Multistage Fans–Part II: Entire Component Simulation and Investigation,” ASME J. Turbomach., 132(4), p. 041015. [CrossRef]
Jerez Fidalgo, V., Hall, C. A., and Colin, Y., 2012, “A Study of Fan-Distortion Interaction Within the NASA Rotor 67 Transonic Stage,” ASME J. Turbomach., 134(5), p. 051011. [CrossRef]
Stocks, C. P., and Bissinger, N. C., 1981, “The Design and Development of the Tornado Air Engine Intake,” AGARD CP-301, Aerodynamics of Power Plant Installation, Toulouse, France, May 11–14, pp. 10-1–10-21.
Flitcroft, J. E., Dunham, J., and Abbott, W. A., 1986, “Transmission of Inlet Distortion Through a Fan,” AGARD CP-400, Engine Response to Distorted Inflow Conditions, Munich, September 8–9, pp. 13-1–13-11.
Williams, J. G., Steenken, W. G., and Yuhas, A. J., 1996, “Estimating Engine Airflow in Gas-Turbine Powered Aircraft With Clean and Distorted Inlet Flows,” NASA Contract Report No. CR-1996-198052.
Walsh, K. R., Yuhas, A. J., Williams, J. G., and Steenken, W. G., 1997, “Inlet Distortion for an F/A-18A Aircraft During Steady Aerodynamic Conditions up to 60 deg Angle of Attack,” NASA Technical Memorandum No. TM-104329.
Govardhan, M., and Viswanath, K., 1997, “Investigations on an Axial Flow Fan Stage Subjected to Circumferential Inlet Flow Distortion and Swirl,” J. Therm. Sci., 6(4), pp. 241–250. [CrossRef]
Wadia, A. R., 2011, “Experimental Investigation of a Forward Swept Rotor in a Multistage Fan With Inlet Distortion,” Int. J. Aerospace Eng., 2011(1), p. 941872. [CrossRef]
Strazisar, A. J., Wood, J. R., Hathaway, M. D., and Suder, K. L., 1989, “Laser Anemometer Measurements in a Transonic Axial-Flow Fan Rotor,” NASA Technical Paper No. 2879.
Treaster, A. L., and Yocum, A. M., 1979, “The Calibration and Application of Five-Hole Probes,” ISA Trans., 18(3), pp. 23–34.
Reid, C., 1969, “The Response of Axial Flow Compressors to Intake Flow Distortion,” Proceedings of the Gas Turbine Products and Conference Show, Cleveland, OH, ASME Paper No. 69-GT-29.
Sun, P., Zhong, J., and Feng, G., 2007, “Flow Field Analysis of Inlet Distortion in a Transonic Fan With Straight and Bowed Stator Blade,”Proceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2007, Montreal, Canada, May 14–17, ASME Paper No. GT2007-27607. [CrossRef]
Cumpsty, N. A., and Horlock, J. H., 2006, “Averaging Nonuniform Flow for a Purpose,” ASME J. Turbomach., 128(1), pp. 120–129. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Meridional view of the rig, to scale

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Comparison of rotor blade sections for the present rig and NASA Rotor 67 [28]. Hub, midspan, and tip are shown in black, red, and blue, respectively.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

36 deg sector of the measurement grid at station 2

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Schematic view looking into the rig intake with a 60 deg gauze sector in place

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Stage total-to-static pressure rise and efficiency characteristics at constant rotor speed

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Contours of stagnation pressure upstream of the rotor

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Contours of static pressure upstream of the rotor

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Contours of absolute whirl angle upstream of the rotor

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Contours of radial angle upstream of the rotor

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Contours of axial velocity at rotor inlet and exit

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Contours of stagnation and static pressure at rotor exit (station 3)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Contours of absolute whirl angle and radial angle at rotor exit (station 3)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Contours of stagnation pressure at stator exit (station 4) in clean and distorted flow

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 18

Meridional view of the rotor showing the data used in the kinematic estimate of radial particle displacement

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 19

Cut along a blade-to-blade stream surface showing the kinematic estimate of circumferential particle displacement

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 17

Examples of two rotor inlet velocity triangles in distorted flow at 70% span compared with the design condition (shown in gray)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 16

Absolute whirl angle, axial velocity and incidence variations at rotor inlet (station 2) in distorted flow. Incidence was defined positive for flow onto the pressure surface.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 15

Breakdown of lost work generation in the rotor with DC60 = 0.83 distortion

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Six tracked sectors overlaid on contours of stagnation pressure at rotor inlet and exit




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In