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International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 941872, 11 pages
Research Article

Experimental Investigation of a Forward Swept Rotor in a Multistage Fan with Inlet Distortion

GE Aviation, MD-S172, One Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215, USA

Received 29 March 2011; Accepted 6 July 2011

Academic Editor: Gecheng Zha

Copyright © 2011 Aspi R. Wadia. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Previous studies of transonic swept rotors in single stage fans have demonstrated the potential of significant improvements in both efficiency and stall margin with forward swept blading. This paper extends the assessment of the payoff derived from forward sweep to multistage configurations. The experimental investigation compare two builds of an advanced two-stage fan configuration tested alternately with a radial and a forward swept stage 1 blade. In the two-stage evaluations, the testing was extended to include the effect on inlet flow distortion. While the common second stage among the two builds prevented the overall fan from showing clean inlet performance and stability benefits with the forward swept rotor 1, this configuration did demonstrate superior front stage efficiency and tolerance to inlet distortion. Having obtained already low distortion sensitivity with the radial rotor 1 configuration relative to current production military fan standards, the sensitivity to inlet distortion was halved with the forward swept rotor 1 configuration. In the case of the 180-degree one-per-rev distortion pattern, the two-stage configuration was evaluated both with and without inlet guide vanes (IGVs). The presence of the inlet guide vanes had a profound impact in lowering the two-stage fan's sensitivity with inlet distortion.