An experimental investigation of stall inception and stall cell development in a single-stage axial compressor is described. The stall inception was found to be naturally nonrandom: By artificially perturbing the flow the inception could be accurately fixed at a known location in the compressor. The stall cell was first detected behind the rotor at a small distance from the tip. The stall cell grew very rapidly in circumferential extent, but slowly in radial extent. After reaching the hub the cell decreased in size before reaching full development as a single full span rotating stall cell. Relationships between various parameters of the stall cell growth are presented. The growth is explained in terms of the cell blockage, and the mechanism for multiple stall inception is discussed.

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