The aerodynamic sources of the forward tone noise of transonic civil fans are analysed. The leading edge shockwave near the rotor tip section is identified as the main source of tone noise. By comparing the tone noise levels of the same fan operating at two different working lines, numerical calculations show that on the lower working line, the main passage shockwave is swallowed and locked into the blade passage, and the fan blades act as a shield to prevent the strong passage shock wave from propagating upstream. The calculations show that, by running the fan at a lower working line, up to 6 db abatement in the blade passing frequency (BPF) tone can be achieved through shielding the shockwave. With three dimensional CFD it is possible to design swept rotors which have desired shockwave structures near the tip region. Fan rotors with different swept leading edges have been designed to study this effect and comparisons in aerodynamics performances as well as the tone noise levels are made. It is predicted that in a swept rotor the leading edge shock strength can be further weakened and up to 5db further reduction in tone noise is possible. With a more secure shockwave shielding, a forward swept rotor has the combination of better aerodynamic performance and better noise abatement feature. The design and test results of a three dimensional fan rotor LNR2, featuring localised forward swept rotor are presented. Rig test results show that although the noise reduction through shock shielding has been demonstrated, the aerodynamics and noise are complicated by the problems specific to such localised forward swept fan.

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