This paper, in two parts, reports measurements from, and simulation of, Cranfield University’s 3-stage high-speed axial compressor. Using this newly built rig, supported by European Commission, a consortium of gas-turbine companies have tested a set of conventionally stacked 2D rotor and stator blades. The results from this experiment were used to evaluate and assess the performance of several commercially available CFD codes leading to the collaborative design of an advanced three-dimensional blade set seeking, if possible, a 2% efficiency gain. The limited axial spacing between the measurement planes and the blade rows required the design of a unique seven probe assembly and traverse mechanism able to yaw and pitch the probes and to control the insertion depths. This mechanism was designed to accommodate different probes, such as cobra, fast response (pneumatic) and temperature measuring probes, and deliver area traverses between rotor and stators throughout the compressor. For probe calibration a high speed wind tunnel section was designed to accommodate this mechanism enabling calibrations for Mach numbers up to 0.78, as well as for a wide range of pitch and yaw angles values. This mechanism combined with a post processing programme incorporating a mapping technique for the relative offset of the measurement points on the probe secured very detailed results throughout the compressor. Measurements show the complex three dimensional flow structure and secondary flows associated with tip-leakage, endwall boundary layers, wake transportation and blade row interactions. The importance of a rigorous mapping procedure was particularly useful where the wake thickness was small and pressure gradients high in comparison to the probe size.

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