A naval aircraft has the potential to experience inlet performance decline when taking off from the carrier deck with the steam-driven catapult assistance. The steam ingested into inlet may cause time-dependent rise and spatial distortion of the total temperature on the inlet–exit, which would decrease the compressor stall margin and then lower the performance of the turbine engine. In this paper, these temporal and spatial temperature nonuniformities are numerically studied using the dual-time-step transient method with a real aircraft/inlet model taken into account. The flowfield characteristics of a designed baseline case are first analyzed, indicating that the engine’s suction effect and the wind velocity relative to the aircraft are two key factors affecting the steam ingestion. The former is dominant at the beginning of takeoff since the aircraft's velocity is low, while the latter is increasingly significant as the aircraft accelerates. Next, parametric studies show that the greater the wind speed is, the less significantly the flowfield of the inlet–exit would be influenced by the steam. The effects are also studied among various steam leakage profiles—two are constant in time histories of the steam leakage rate, whereas the other two are nonlinear with the maximum value at different instants. It is found that the temperature rise rate of the inlet–exit would increase apparently if the steam leakage rate reaches the maximum earlier.

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