The Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) has set an ambitious array of objectives to be accomplished by 2050. It is often claimed that complying with those targets will not require evolution but, rather, revolution. If the growth in aviation has to be sustained in the future then we must come up with radical aircraft and engine configurations which can meet the demands of future aviation.

The contra-rotating fan is one such system which can play an important role in the future engine configurations, such as the hybrid engine configuration that is being investigated in the EU cofounded AHEAD project.

In order to design a CRF system, a 1-D code has been developed based on the inverse Blade Element Method (BEM) to design a contra rotating fan. The CRF design obtained from this methodology is then analyzed with a full 3D RANS simulation.

The numerical analysis revealed that the performance of the first rotor satisfies with the given design requirements in terms of both pressure ratio and isentropic efficiency, thus proving the efficacy of using the 1-D code for designing the CRF. However, the performance of the rear rotor does not reach the design demands. It was observed that there is a strong flow separation around the root and a strong normal shock in the blade passage near the tip. It was found that there is a great difference between the blade metal inlet angles and the relative flow inlet angles near the root of the rear rotor. One of the main reasons for this is the calculation of the axial velocity depending on the vortex design and the resolution of the radial equilibrium. Based on the CFD simulations, the design code could be further modified to improve the design of CRF.

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