This paper presents a conceptual design of a tail-cone thruster system which is operating under an axisymmetric inlet distortion. An effort to realize the targeted fuel burn saving that was proposed in NASA’s STARC_ABL aircraft design is made through a CFD based design approach. This method employs three iterative steps to exploit the CFD tools until the design requirements are met: a quasi-2D through-flow model to design the fan/EGV, a 3-D RANS simulation of the single blade row to account for the inlet/fan and the EGV/nozzle interaction, and a 3-D RANS simulation of the airframe with a propulsor installed – propulsion airframe integration (PAI). The design requirements which include the thrust, and shaft power of the propulsor are matched throughout the evaluations coming from two CFD domains, i.e., the turbo-machinery and the PAI. During the switch between these different computational domains, the inlet and exit profiles are matched via the correction factors of the body-force model.

The present tail-cone thruster (TCT) aerodynamic design leverages a low-pressure ratio fan (FPR = 1.2∼1.25) of which the camber-line angles are predicted by a quasi-2D through-flow model. The quasi-2D model is derived to analyze the radially distorted flow resulting from the ingested boundary layer at the inlet. It also estimates the appropriate velocity vectors of the metal angles of the fan and EGV which is subjected to different types of vortex at the fan exit.

The baseline geometry is revisited and its internal flow-path and exhaust cone are redesigned to illustrate the strong correlation among the components of the propulsor in the PAI domain. The peak efficiency point of the fan/EGV with respect to the blade counts, a.k.a. solidity, and rotational speed is chosen for the cruise condition via parametric studies. The corresponding performance maps are presented. The resulting performance metrics of the new conceptual design of the BLI propulsor are analyzed and compared with these of the baseline in the PAI aspect. Finally, ideas of the CFD based design of a BLI propulsor are discussed based on the observations drawn from the numerical results.

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