The aviation industry is under significant commercial and environmental pressure to produce a revolution in design. However, despite the significant advances in automatic design optimization made over the last 30 years, the industry is still largely conducting design by evolution. The complexity of a modern aeroengine encourages the separation of its conceptual from its detailed design: this limits the utility of powerful design optimization tools solving the “classical” optimization problem (of design space search for the global optimum) to the detailed designer who is more usually tasked with reaching a specification. One of the principal difficulties of modifying the design to reach a particular specified goal is that, though the desired improvement might be achieved, it often comes at unacceptable detriment to other performance indicators. We present results of our orthogonal design technique (that assists the designer in producing improvements in specific attributes of the design without penalty in other aspects) applied to the redesign of a generic core engine compressor for two “real-world” design problems: reducing the part count without aerodynamic penalty and increasing the efficiency without reduction in surge margin, pressure rise or mass flow. The two resulting designs, while meeting their constraints, exhibit a reduction in blading equivalent to two rotor rows and an increase in adiabatic efficiency of 1.0 percentage point respectively. The design changes which produce these improvements, together with how these compare with design rationale, are discussed.

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