This paper reports best practice principles for experimental rig design and operation arising from a European Commision funded programme of research on internal air systems. The Internal Cooling Air Systems for Gas Turbines 2 (ICAS-GT2) research programme, ran from April 2001 to June 2005, and was undertaken by a consortium of ten gas turbine manufacturing companies and four universities. The programme of research involved both design and operation of a series of high pressure, high speed rotating rigs in order to deliver data at or near engine representative conditions. The rigs concerned cover the pre-swirl system, turbine rim seals, turbine stator wells, compressor rotor-rotor disc cavities, bolt windage and real engine parts experiments. Operation of these rigs has presented a wide range of challenges, particularly with respect to optical access in rotor-rotor and rotor-stator disc cavities and measurement of disc heat transfer. This paper explores the best practice principles developed for internal air system experimental rig design, operation and associated instrumentation.

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