Through-flow theory is at the heart of turbomachinery aerodynamic design in that it provides the incidence and Mach number distributions that are ultimately used to define the rotor and stator airfoil contours. The assumption of axisymmetry plays a major role in the formulation of the theory and the consequences of this assumption have historically necessitated the introduction of “blockage” to account for the nonaxisymmetries in the flow. The present paper provides an assessment of these assumptions and of through-flow theory in general by making detailed comparisons between computed and measured results for a two-stage axial compressor. Part II focuses on the computed results, particularly the excellent agreement with the measured data that can be obtained, and their sensitivity to various simplifying assumptions.

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