Vibration related issues such as flutter have always been a cause of concern for aircraft engine designers. They not only incur unwarranted cost and time overruns, but also significantly compromise performance and can cause structural damage. This phenomenon has become more relevant for the modern aircraft engines, which employ relatively thin, long blade rows to satisfy ever growing demand for a powerful yet compact engine. The tip sections of such blade rows operate with supersonic relative velocity, where prediction of flutter can get challenging due to unsteady flow features like oscillating shocks and their interaction with the blade motion. Linear cascades that represent a specific radial location of the rotor have proven to be a reliable tool for flutter studies. To facilitate flutter experiments at flow Mach numbers realistic to the aircraft engine components, a transonic cascade facility operating at a Mach Number (M) of 1.3 with the ability to oscillate the central blade in the cascade has been developed. The cascade consists of 5 blades and two false blades of which the central blade is oscillated in heave, which represents the bending mode of the rotor. The typical reduced frequencies associated with this kind of flutter in practice (k ∼ 0.1) correspond to a high dimensional frequency of 200 Hz for the present case. A barrel cam mechanism is used to provide such high frequency oscillations. The parameters varied in the present study include the reduced frequency (k) and the static pressure ratio (SPR) across the cascade, which is varied with the help of tailboard and flap arrangement located at the back end of the cascade. Three SPR cases of 1.05, 1.25, and 1.35 are considered and at each of these pressure ratio cases, the reduced frequency is varied. The unsteady loads are measured on the oscillating central blade during the oscillation cycle to quantify the energy transfer from flow to blade and shadowgraphy is used to visualize the shocks. The results from these experiments indicate flutter at lower k values for all the SPR cases tested, while the higher k values are damped. The magnitude of excitation or damping at any particular frequency is also observed to increase with increasing SPR.

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