The main role of the intake is to provide a sufficient mass flow to the engine face and sufficient flow homogeneity to the fan. Intake-fan interaction off design represents a critical issue in the design process because intake lines are set very early during the aircraft optimization.
The off-design operation of an aero-engine, strictly related to the intake flow field, can be mainly related to two different conditions. When the plane is in near ground position, vorticity can be ingested by the fan due to crosswind incidence. During the flight, distortions occur due to incidence. In these conditions, the windward lip is subjected to high acceleration followed by strong adverse pressure gradients, high streamline curvature and cohabitation of incompressible and transonic flow around the lip. All these features increase the risk of lip stall in flight at incidence or in crosswind near ground operation and increase the level of forcing seen by the fan blades because of the interaction with non-uniform flow from the intake.
This work deals with the study of two sources of distortions: ground vortex ingestion and flight at high incidence conditions. A test case representative of a current installation clearance from the ground has been investigated and the experimental data available in open literature validated the CFD approach. An intake, representative of a realistic civil aeroengine configuration flying at high incidence, has been investigated in powered and aspirated configurations. Distortion distributions have been characterized in terms of total loss distributions in space and in time. The beneficial effect of the presence of the fan in terms of distortion control has been demonstrated. The mutual effect between fan and incoming distortion from the intake has been assessed in terms of modal force and distortion control. CFD has been validated by means of comparisons between numerical results and experimental data have been provided. Waves predicted by CFD have been compared with an actuator disk approach prediction. The linear behavior of the lower disturbance frequency coming from distortion and the waves reflected by the fan has been demonstrated.Copyright © 2016 by Rolls-Royce plc