This paper presents new experimental measurements of spike-type stall inception. The measurements were carried out in the single stage Deverson compressor at the Whittle Laboratory. The primary objective was to characterize the flow field in the tip clearance gap during stall inception using sufficient instrumentation to give high spatial and temporal resolution. Measurements were recorded using arrays of unsteady pressure transducers over the rotor tips and hot-wires in the tip gap. Prestall ensemble averaged velocity and pressure maps were obtained as well as pressure contours of the stall event. In order to study the transient inception process in greater detail, vector maps were built up from hundreds of stalling events using a triggering system based on the stalling event itself. The results show an embryonic disturbance starting within the blade passage and leading to the formation of a clear spike. The origins of the spike and its relation to the tip leakage vortex are discussed. It has also been shown that before stall, the flow in the blade passage which is most likely to stall is generally more unsteady, from revolution to revolution, than the other passages in the annulus.

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