Before and during World War II, the design and development of single stage high pressure ratio centrifugal compressors was essentially a cut-and-try exercise. To reach a high pressure without substantial experimentation required multiple stages of impellers and diffusers with pressure ratios in the 2:1 range. While such arrangements were satisfactory for commercial use where weight was not a major consideration, they were not suitable for jet engines. The centrifugal compressor for the Whittle engine, the first British jet engine, was developed by trial and error with numerous modifications of the hub-shroud profile. The centrifugal compressor section of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) designed, built, and tested three compressor impellers during and after World War II. They were part of a program designed to evaluate various blade shapes, but encountered such instabilities at the design pressure ratios that the experimental results led to no definitive conclusions. In 1948, the Centrifugal Compressor Section was given the assignment to further investigate the three impellers. The investigation led to the development of a quasi-three-dimensional design procedure that eliminated the guesswork from the basic design of a centrifugal impeller. Since the 1948 to 1955 time period over which the procedure was developed, the advances in computers have allowed refinements in the original computational methods. It is the objective of this presentation to review the history of the NACA centrifugal compressor program and efforts that have led to the latest developments in computational design procedures.
A Review of the History of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics Centrifugal Compressor Program and Arrival at Current Computational Design Procedures
Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division for publication on the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the Fluids Engineering Division August 25, 2004; revised manuscript received September 7, 2004. Review Conducted by: Y. Tsujimoto.
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Hamrick, J. T. (March 22, 2005). "A Review of the History of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics Centrifugal Compressor Program and Arrival at Current Computational Design Procedures ." ASME. J. Fluids Eng. January 2005; 127(1): 94–97. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1855326
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