This paper describes a study of the effects of design-point reaction on axial flow compressor performance. Particular attention is given to differences in stable operating range and overall efficiency. Design of an 80% reaction, zero pre-whirl, blading is presented together with a discussion on the applicability of currently available design correlations, mostly derived from 50% reaction blading tests, to such high reaction blading. Experimental data obtained from tests carried out on a low speed 3-stage axial flow research facility, at Cranfield Institute of Technology (now Cranfield University), using an existing 50% reaction blading and the new 80% reaction blading indicate that high reaction designs can result in improved operating range at no loss of efficiency. Tests carried out include performance measurements for each of the two bladings at various stator stagger settings and include inter-row radial traversing at flow conditions near optimum and stall.

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