The concept of swept blades for a transonic or supersonic compressor was reconsidered by Wennerstrom in the early 1980s. Several transonic rotors designed with swept blades have shown very good aerodynamic efficiency. The improved performance of the rotor is believed to be due to reduced shock strength near the shroud and better distribution of secondary flows.

A three-dimensional flowfield inside a transonic rotor with swept blades is analyzed in detail experimentally and numerically. A Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equation is solved for the flow inside the rotor. The numerical solution is based on a high-order upwinding relaxation scheme, and a two-equation turbulence model with a low Reynolds number modification is used for the turbulence modeling. To properly predict flows near the shroud, the tip-clearance flow also must be properly calculated. The numerical results at three different operating conditions agree well with the available experimental data and reveal various interesting aspects of shock structure inside the rotor.

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