Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Mitch Wolff (Advisor)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This dissertation is a design and validation study of the high-lift low-pressure turbine (LPT) blade designated L2F. High-lift LPTs offer the promise of reducing the blade count in modern gas turbine engines. Decreasing the blade count can reduce development and maintenance costs and the weight of the engine, but care must be taken in order to maintain turbine section performance with fewer blades. For an equivalent amount of work extracted, lower blade counts increase blade loading in the LPT section. The high-lift LPT presented herein allows 38% fewer blades with a Zweifel loading coefficient of 1.59 and maintains the same inlet and outlet blade metal angles of conventional geometries in service today while providing an improved low-Reynolds number characteristic. The computational design method utilizes the Turbine Design and Analysis System (TDAAS) developed by John Clark of the Air Force Research Laboratory. TDAAS integrates several government-funded design utilities including airfoil and grid generation capability with a Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes flow solver into a single, menu-driven, Matlab-based system. Transition modeling is achieved with the recently developed model of Praisner and Clark, and this study validates the use of the model for design purposes outside of the Pratt & Whitney (P&W) design system where they were created. Turbulence modeling is achieved with the Baldwin and Lomax zero-equation model. The experimental validation consists of testing the front-loaded L2F along with a previously designed, mid-loaded blade (L1M) in a linear turbine cascade in a low-speed wind tunnel over a range of Reynolds numbers at 3.3% freestream turbulence. Hot-wire anemometry and pressure measurements elucidate these comparisons, while a shear and stress sensitive film (S3F) also helps describe the flow in areas of interest. S3F can provide all 3 components of stress on a surface in a single measurement, and these tests extend the operational envelope of the technique to low speed air environments where small dynamic pressures and curved surfaces preclude the use of more traditional global measurement methods. Results are compared between the L1M and L2F geometries along with previous data taken in the same wind tunnel at identical flow conditions for the P&W Pack B geometry.

Page Count


Department or Program

Ph.D. in Engineering

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Engineering Commons