Transonic compressor rotor performance is sensitive to variations in several known design parameters. One such parameter is the chordwise location of maximum thickness. This article reports on the design and experimental evaluation of two versions of a low aspect ratio transonic rotor that had the location of the tip blade section maximum thickness moved forward in two increments from the nominal 70 percent to 55 and 40 percent chord length, respectively. The original hub characteristics were preserved and the maximum thickness location was adjusted proportionately along the span. Although designed to satisfy identical design speed requirements, the experimental results reveal significant variation in the performance of the rotors. At design speed, the rotor with its maximum thickness located at 55 percent chord length attains the highest peak efficiency among the three rotors but has lowest flow rollback relative to the other two versions. To focus on current ruggedization issues for transonic blading (e.g., bird and ice ingestion), detailed comparison of test data and analysis to characterize the aerodynamic flow details responsible for the measured performance differences were confined to the two rotors with the most forward location of maximum thickness. A three-dimensional viscous flow analysis was used to identify the performance-enhancing features of the higher efficiency rotor and to provide guidance in the interpretation of the experimental measurements. The computational results of the viscous analysis show that the difference in performance between the two rotors can be attributed to the higher shock losses that result from the increased leading edge “wedge angle” as the maximum thickness is moved closer to the leading edge. The test data and the three-dimensional viscous analysis also reveal that the higher efficiency rotor achieves the same static pressure rise potential and loading at a higher flow level than its less efficient counterpart and this is responsible for its resulting lower flow rollback and apparent loss in stall margin. Comparison of the peak efficiencies attained by the two rotors described in this article with the baseline ruggedized rotor performance presented in part 1 of this paper suggests the existence of an optimum maximum thickness location at 55 to 60 percent chord length for such low aspect ratio transonic rotors.

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