AFRL commences core compressor testing
By AFRL's Propulsion Directorate
/ Published December 19, 2006
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE --
Air Force Research Laboratory engineers began testing General Electric's (GE) long-range strike Versatile Affordable Advanced Turbine Engine (VAATE) core compressor at AFRL's Compressor Research Facility. These tests will further develop the front three stages of the dual-use core compressor to increase part speed efficiency, investigate concepts that mitigate blade row interaction losses without requiring large axial spacing, and validate and improve time-accurate computational fluid dynamics design tools.
Completing this effort will require testing of five different builds. Engineers conducted the first build tests for mechanical checkout, stator optimization and aero mapping. The data collected at the AFRL facility demonstrates a significant efficiency improvement over previous tests conducted at GE's Lynn, Mass. facility. AFRL engineers obtained 70-80 percent corrected speeds at all throttle conditions, while maintaining the low-power stall margin. The test data also demonstrated that at high power, similar levels of flow, efficiency and stall margin were maintained with respect to the baseline. These improvements help the GE long-range strike engine meet thrust-to-weight, thrust-specific fuel consumption, and development cost goals.