Very high-bypass ratio turbofans with large fan tip diameter are an effective way of improving the propulsive efficiency of civil aero-engines. Such engines, however, require larger and heavier nacelles, which partially offset any gains in specific fuel consumptions. This drawback can be mitigated by adopting thinner walls for the nacelle and by shortening the intake section. This binds the success of very high-bypass ratio technologies to the problem of designing an intake with thin lips and short diffuser section which is well matched to a low speed fan. Consequently the prediction of the mutual influence between the fan and the intake flow represents a crucial step in the design process.
Considerable effort has been devoted in recent years to the study of models for the effects of the fan on the lip stall characteristics and the operability of the whole installation. The study of such models is motivated by the wish to avoid the costs incurred by full, three-dimensional CFD computations. The present contribution documents a fan model for fan-intake computations based on the solution of the double linearization problem for unsteady, transonic flow past a cascade of aerofoils with finite mean load. The computation of the flow in the intake is reduced to a steady problem, whereas the computation of the flow in the fan is reduced to one steady problem and a set of solutions of the linearised model in the frequency domain. The nature of the approximations introduced in the fan representation is such that numerical solutions can be computed inexpensively, whilst the main feature of the flow in the fan passage, namely the shock system and an approximation of the unsteady flow encountered by the fan are retained. The model is applied to a well-documented test case and compares favourably with much more expensive three-dimensional, time domain computations.