An investigation was conducted to examine the effects of a variable flow low pressure turbine on a variable cycle engine’s performance.

One of the greatest challenges, during the design of a variable cycle engine is how to optimise the various cycles and then to match then to the capabilities of the engine components, the use of extensive variable geometry is required to achieve this.

A method of matching variable cycle engines that was developed Cranfield University was adapted to cater for the use of a variable flow low pressure turbine. It was discovered that the implementation of variable geometry within the low pressure turbine could significantly reduce the requirements for variable geometry within the compressor system, at the cost of replacing well proven compressor variable geometry with high risk technology within the LP turbine.

Utilising the variable flow turbine to expand the bypass ratio range of the engine was studied. Increasing the LPM bypass ratio to 1.1 and 1.2 yielded SFC reductions of 3% and 5% respectively, reducing the bypass ratio of the HPM to 0.1 gave a 20% increase in specific thrust. It was found that the performance benefits gained from expanding the bypass ratio are large enough to warrant further investigation into this concept.

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