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27th AIAA Aerodynamic Measurement Technology and Ground Testing Conference

28 June - 1 July 2010, Chicago, Illinois

AIAA 2010-4337

Inlet Distortion Test with Gas Turbine Engine


in the Altitude Engine Test Facility
Kyungjae LEE1, Bohwa LEE2, Sanghun KANG3, Sooseok YANG4, and Daesung LEE5
Korea Aerospace Research Institute, Daejeon, 305-333, Korea

In this study, three types of inlet distortion simulating device - screen, blockage and delta
wing type - were developed and preliminary testing was carried out with dummy engine in
the Altitude Engine Test Facility(AETF) of Korea Aerospace Research Institute(KARI) in
order to evaluate operational capability of simulating device. According to preliminary test
result, the inlet distortion device could be used in simulating various inlet distortion cases.
Based on preliminary distortion test results, inlet distortion test with real gar-turbine engine
was performed using blockage and delta wing type inlet distortion devices. During the test,
the deterioration of overall performance and stability was observed.

Nomenclature
DC()
Pf
P
qf

=
=
=
=

Distortion Coefficient
Mean Total Pressure at engine inlet
Mean Total Pressure in the worst sector of the inlet of Angle
Mean Dynamic Pressure

I. Introduction

N the late 1960s, engineer found that the inlet distortion could cause the surge of compressor which result in the
deterioration of performance and instability of engine. Since that, many techniques which are related to the inlet
distortion has been developed for improving inlet distortion problem.
Inlet distortion can be divided into inlet pressure, temperature and flow angle distortion. Inlet pressure distortion
which is the spatial non-uniformity of inlet pressure can be caused by shape of engine intake, high angle of attack
maneuver and strong crosswinds or interaction between engine and aircraft body. Inlet temperature distortion which
is the spatial non-uniformity of inlet temperature can be caused by inappropriate design of test facility and inflow of
the engine exhaust gas at the reverse thrust.
Air flow characteristic of engine inlet duct has to be confirmed before evaluating the effect of inlet distortion to
engine overall performance and stability. So, wind tunnel testing is necessary to check air flow characteristic of
engine inlet duct. The engine manufacturer uses various types of inlet distortion simulating device for simulating
inlet distortion which can be observed by wind tunnel testing. According to inlet distortion test result, engineer of
engine manufacturer can evaluate the effect of inlet distortion to overall performance and stability of engine. Usually,
block type device is used to evaluate the inlet distortion which could simulate various type of inlet distortion by
changing area or combination of block. Sometimes special device such as delta wing type device can be used to
simulate vortex or inlet flow angle distortion.
In this study, three types of inlet distortion simulating devices were developed and tested to investigate about the
effect of inlet distortion to engine overall performance and stability. Before performing inlet distortion test with real
engine, preliminary tests were performed in the AETF of KARI with dummy engine. Based on wind tunnel test
result about engine inlet duct and preliminary test result of distortion device, inlet distortion test with real engine
was performed using the blockage device and delta wing type device. During the test, the deterioration of overall
performance and stability was observed.

Senior Researcher, Aero Propulsion System Department, 45 Eoeun-Dong, Yuseong-Gu, Daejeon, 305-333, Korea
Researcher, Aero Propulsion System Department
3
Senior Researcher, Aero Propulsion System Department
4
Principal Researcher, Aero Propulsion System Department, AIAA Member.
5
Principal Researcher, Aeronautics Research & Development Head Office, AIAA Member.
1
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
2

Copyright 2010 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.

II. Inlet Distortion Device & Test Facility


A. The Degree of Inlet Distortion
In order to evaluate the effect of inlet distortion to engine stability and overall performance, the degree of inlet
distortion has to be defined and quantified with numerical index. In general, DC(), CDI and RDI are used to define
and quantify the degree of inlet distortion. DC() is defined as Eq. (1)
DC ( ) =

Pf P

(1)

qf

Eq. (1) can be used as DC60, DC90 or DC120 with 60, 90 and 120 of , respectively. With DC(60), there are
several limit for engine such as Table. 1
Table 1. The Limit of DC(60) for various Engine
Engine Type
Degree of DC(60)
Civil Subsonic Transport
-0.2
Military Fighter Aircraft
-0.9
Industrial, Marine and Automotive Engine
Less Than -0.1
In this paper, DC(90) will be used to define and quantify the degree of inlet distortion.
B. Measuring of Inlet Distortion
Three sets of rake were designed and used to preliminary test. First set of rake which was installed in front of
inlet distortion simulating device was used to measure air flow quality and calibrate air flow rate. And this set of
rakes consists of total pressure, temperature and boundary layer rakes. Total pressure, temperature probes were
installed in one body. Figure 1 show the rakes installed in front of the inlet distortion simulating device. In this
picture, there is no boundary layer rakes. Boundary layer rakes were used before test to verify air flow and calibrate
air flow rate and uninstalled during test for decreasing inlet flow distortion induced by boundary layer rakes. Second
and third set of rake which was installed in the rear of the inlet distortion simulating device was used to measure
inlet distortion. The difference of two set of rakes was length and probe point of rake. Second set of rakes was used
to test with dummy engine which did not have nosecone. Third set of rakes was used to test with dummy engine
which were designed in order to investigate the effect of nosecone to inlet distortion. During the inlet distortion
testing with real engine, second and third set of rakes did not use to reduce inlet distortion induced by measuring
device.

Figure 1. Picture of Installed Rakes


C. Inlet Distortion Simulating Device
Three types of inlet distortion device were developed to simulate various type of inlet distortion. Figure 2 shows
the three types of inlet distortion device. First type of device is screen type device and this device consists of two
screen parts. So, the degree of inlet distortion could be adjusted by changing the cross angle of two screen. However,
because there is no remote controllable moving part, the degree of inlet distortion could not be adjusted during inlet
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distortion test. All facility had to be shut downed for adjusting the degree of inlet distortion. This device will be
improved in the further research. Second type of device is blockage type which consists of 20%, 30% and 40%
blockage. This device is very simple and easy to manufacture. However this device is very difficult to change the
degree of inlet distortion, because AETF of KARI is direct connection type and duct has to be uninstalled for
changing blockage ratio of device. So, the degree of inlet distortion of blockage type device also can not be adjusted
during inlet distortion test. The third type of device is delta wing type device. This device was used to simulate inlet
flow angle distortion induced by twin vortex. Delta wing type device was designed and developed by customers
desire and test result of wind tunnel with engine inlet duct. And the degree of inlet distortion of delta wing type
could be adjusted during testing because of remote adjustable controller. Angle of attack of delta wing is stored in
the das computer via voltage signal. Before every testing with delta wing type, angle of attack of delta wing was
calibrated by electric goniometer. Figure 3 shows the adjustable device for delta wing type device.

Figure 2. Inlet Distortion Simulating Device

Figure 3. Adjustable Device for Delta Wing Type Device


D. Altitude Engine Test Facility
There are two test cells in the AETF of KARI. The first test cell of AETF was built at the KARI in October 1999
and has been being operated for turbofan and turbojet engine altitude tests using several engines such as j69 engine
of Teledyne Co. The second test cell was built in February 2008 and has been being operated for turbo-shaft engine
altitude tests using only one engines which will be used to Korea Helicopter Program(KHP).
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Figure 4. AETF of KARI

Figure 5. Schematic of AETF

The first test cell of AETF is an altitude test facility designed for 3,000 lbf class turbofan and turbojet engines to
test with a direct connecting type by Sverdrup. And second test cell of AETF is designed for 2,500 SHP class turboshaft engines to test with a direct connecting type by MDS aero. The specifications of facility are presented in Table
2 and 3.
Table 2. Specification of Test Cell #1 (Turbofan & Turbojet)

Table 3. Specification of Test Cell #2 (Turbo-shaft)

Mach number is simulated by controlling of inlet pressure and inlet temperature which is supplied to engine by
AETF. Altitude condition is simulated by de-pressurizing and pressurizing the test cell. And air supply system
which is derived by compressor capacity can control altitude and Mach number capability.
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There are three centrifugal compressors (C1, C2 and C3) for air supply system of AETF. For high altitude and
Mach number, three compressors are connected in series mode. In series mode, AETF can simulate 40,000 ft
altitude condition. Figure 6 shows the flight envelope of AETF.

Figure 6. Flight Envelope of AETF

III. Inlet Distortion Test


Prior to process inlet distortion test, air flow test was carried out without distortion device to check the air flow
uniformity of facility. After air flow checking test, preliminary inlet distortion test was performed with dummy
engine in order to evaluate capability of distortion device. Based on the result of preliminary inlet distortion test,
inlet distortion test with real engine was carried out with blockage and screen type device.
E. Air Flow Uniformity of Facility
Air flow uniformity checking test was carried out prior to process inlet distortion test. Figure 7 shows the result
of air flow uniformity checking test with clean duct. As shown in Figure 7, air flow without inlet distortion device
has very good uniformity.
1.10
1.05

Mach Ratio

1.00
0.95

4kg_01
6kg_01
7kg_01
8kg_01
Engine Test 8.7 kg
9kg_01
10kg_01

0.90
0.85
0.80
0.75

4kg_02
6kg_02
7kg_02
8kg_02
Engine Test HD8.6 kg
9kg_02
10kg_02

0.70
0.00

0.10

0.20

0.30

0.40

0.50

0.60

0.70

0.80

0.90

Radius

Figure 7. Air Flow Uniformity of AETF without Distortion Device


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1.00

F. Preliminary Inlet Distortion Test


Preliminary inlet distortion test was performed before testing with real engine to evaluate the capability of
distortion device. Table 4 shows the result of distortion test with screen type. Figure 8 and 9 shows the result of
distortion test with blockage and delta wing type, respectively. The results show that inlet distortion simulating
device could be used in simulating various inlet distortion cases.
Table 4. DC90 of Screen Type Inlet Distortion Device
Screen Angle
Air Flow(kg/s)
DC90
3.99
0.3880
90 deg
9.48
0.3962
3.95
0.4016
120 deg
9.46
0.4215
3.91
0.3618
150 deg
9.30
0.3658
3.84
0.3215
180 deg
9.30
0.3390
20% Blockage Ratio

30% Blockage Ratio

MD05 : 0.220

40% Blockage Ratio

0.370
0.365
DC90

DC(90)

1.000

0.600

0.360
0.355
0.350

0.200
0.0500

0.1000

0.1500

0.2000

0.345

0.2500

21

23

Duct Mach No.

25

27

29

31

Angle of Attack

Figure 8. DC90 of Blockage Type Device

Figure 9. DC90 of Delta Wing Type Device

G. Inlet Distortion Test


800

1.60
30%Block

30%Block

20%Block

600
Thrust

1.40
SFC

20%Block

700

1.50

1.30

500
400

1.20
300

1.10

200

1.00
100

200

300

400

500
Thrust

600

700

800

Figure 10. SFC vs. Thrust with Blockage device

100
65

70

75

80

RPM

85

90

95

100

Figure 11. Thrust vs. RPM with Blockage device

Based on the preliminary inlet distortion test result, distortion test with real engine was carried out with blockage
and delta wing type device. Figure 10 shows SFC variation versus thrust with 20% and 30% blockage type device.
And figure 11 shows thrust variation versus engine RPM at the condition of 20% and 30% blockage. SFC increases
as blockage ratio increases. However thrust decreases as blockage ratio increases. According to preliminary test
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result, increase of blockage ration means that increase of inlet distortion degree. So, figure 10 and 11 show that
engine overall performance decrease as the degree of inlet distortion increase.
20deg

22deg

26deg

Thrust_01
Thrust_06

30deg

850

800

750

700

650

600

550

500

Thrust

Thrust

SC_M07

450

Thrust_02
Thrust_07

Thrust_03

Thrust_04

Thrust_05

400

350

300

250

200
100

150
65

70

75

80

RPM(%)

85

90

95

19

100

20 Deg

22 Deg

26 Deg

23

25

27

29

31

Angle(Deg)

Figure 12. Thrust vs. RPM with delta wing

SC_M07

21

Figure 13. Thrust vs. AOA with delta wing

SC_M07

30 Deg

20 Deg

22 Deg

26 Deg

30 Deg

1.5

400
1.4

350
300

SFC

Fuel Flow

1.3

1.2

250
200

1.1

150
100

1.0
65

70

75

80

85

90

95

100

150

250

350

450

550

650

750

850

Thrust

RPM

Figure 14. SFC vs. RPM with delta wing

Figure 15. Fuel Flow vs. Thrust with delta wing

From figure 12 to figure 15 show the result of inlet distortion test with delta wing type device. Blue line of all
figures from 12 to 15 shows the engine performance without distortion. Figure 12 shows the result of thrust variation
versus RPM of engine with angle of attack variation. As shown in figure 12, thrust decrease as angle of attack of
delta wing increase. At the condition of maximum RPM, dimensionless thrust with clean duct is 788.5. However
thrust decreases from 754.4 to 747.7 as angle of attack increases. According to preliminary inlet distortion test,
increase of angle of attack means that the increase of inlet distortion degree. Figure 13 shows same result with figure
12. Figure 14 shows SFC variation versus RPM of engine with angle of attack variation. As shown in figure 14, SFC
with delta wing device is bigger than SFC without delta wing device. At the condition of maximum RPM, SFC with
clean duct is 1.0742. However SFC increases from 1.0813 to 1.0948 as angle of attack increases. It means that
engine overall performance decreases as the degree of inlet distortion increases.

IV. Conclusion
In this study, three types of inlet distortion device - screen, blockage and delta wing type device - were
developed and tested at Altitude Engine Test Facility (AETF) of Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) in
order to evaluate the effect of inlet distortion to overall engine performance and instability. Before applying inlet
distortion device, air flow test was carried out to check the air flow uniformity of facility. Test result of air flow test
shows that air flow un-uniformity is less than 1.4% at the condition of 3.9kg/s of air flow and 2.1% at the condition
of 10kg/s of air flow. And preliminary inlet distortion test with dummy engine was performed with various
conditions to verify the capability of inlet distortion simulation device. According to preliminary distortion test,
screen and blockage type devices could simulate inlet pressure distortion and delta wing type device could simulate
inlet flow angle distortion with twin vortex. The results of screen type inlet distortion simulating device show that
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this device could simulate the degree of screen type inlet distortion (DC90) from 0.3215 to 0.4215. And the
blockage type device could simulate the degree of blockage type inlet distortion from 0.212 to 0.4215. For delta
wing type inlet distortion device, device could simulate the degree of inlet distortion from 0.346 to 0.365. Test
results show that three types of inlet distortion simulating device could be used in simulating various inlet distortion
cases.
Based on preliminary inlet distortion test result, inlet distortion test with real engine was carried out using
blockage and delta wing type device. Specific fuel consumption ratio of engine increases as the degree of inlet
distortion increases. And dimensionless thrust of engine decreases as the degree of inlet distortion increases. It
means that overall engine operational performance decreases as the degree of inlet distortion increases. These results
show that inlet pressure and flow angle distortion can affect to the deterioration of overall engine operational
performance.

References
1

SAE S-16 Committee, ARP 1420, Gas Turbine Inlet Flow Distortion Guidelines, Society of Automotive Engineers,1978.
2
Lecht, X., and Weyer, H. B., Unsteady Rotor Blade Loading in an Axial Compressor with Steady State Inlet Distortion,
AGARD CP 248-30, Cleveland, October, 1978.
3
Yates, B., and Eagles, C., Engine 3/23B Gauze and Swirl Test, Rolls Royce Ltd., Bristol, 1979.
4
Genbler, H. P., Meyer, W., and Fottner, L., Development of Intake Swirl Generators for Turbojet Engine Testing, AGARD
CP-400, 1986.
5
P. P. Walsh and P. Fletcher, Gas Turbine Performance, 2nd Edition, Blackwell Science and ASME Press., 2004
6
Pazur, W., and Fottner, L., The Influence of Inlet Swirl Distortions of the Performance of a Jet Propulsion Two Stage Axial
Compressor, ASME 90-GT-147, 1990.
7
Hanff, E. S., and Ericsson, L. E., Multiple Roll Attractors of a Delta Wing at High Incidence, AGARD CP-494-31,
Scheveningen, 1990.
8
Subba Reddy, C., Effect of Leading Edge Vortex Flaps on Aerodynamic Performance of Delta Wings, AIAA Journal, Vol.
18, No. 9, 1981, pp. 796-798

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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics