Effect of Inlet Distortion Features on Transonic Fan Rotor Stall

[+] Author and Article Information
James H. Page

Whittle Laboratory, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB3 0DY, United Kingdom

Paul Hield

Fan Systems Engineering, Rolls-Royce plc, Filton, Bristol, BS34 7QE, United Kingdom

Paul G. Tucker

Department of Engineering, Trumpington St, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 1PZ, United Kingdom

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4040030 History: Received March 05, 2018; Revised March 28, 2018


The effect of inlet distortion from curved intake ducts on jet engine fan stability is an important consideration for next generation passenger aircraft such as the boundary layer ingestion (BLI) ‘Silent Aircraft’. Highly complex inlet flows which occur can significantly affect fan stability. Future aircraft designs are likely to feature more severe inlet distortion, pressing the need to understand the important factors influencing design. This paper presents the findings from a large CFD investigation into which aspects of inlet distortion cause the most significant reductions in stall margin and, therefore, which flow patterns should be targeted by mitigating technology. The study considers the following aspects of distortion commonly observed in intakes: steady vortical distortion due to secondary flow, unsteady vortical distortion due to vortex shedding and mixing, static pressure distortion due to curved streamlines, and low momentum endwall flow due to thickened boundary layers or separation. Unsteady CFD was used to determine the stall points of a multipassage transonic rotor geometry with each of the inlet distortion patterns applied. Interesting new evidence is provided which suggests that low momentum flow in the tip region, rather than distortion in the main body of the flow, leads to damaging instability.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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