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4 Answers

Engine compressor stalls

Asked by: 5890 views Aircraft Systems, Commercial Pilot

When do engine compressor stalls usually occur?

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4 Answers



  1. Aaron on Nov 18, 2013

    Turbine engine compressors stall when the airflow within them is disrupted. In order to understand this concept, you must first understand how a turbine engine works. It has the four stages hat a typical combustion engine has, but in a turbine engine they occur simultaneously. The air is taken into the engine, where it passes through several compression stages where spinning blades (in an axial flow compressor) or spinning discs with slots (in a centrifugal flow compressor) send the air further into the engine, increasing the pressure as it goes along until it is at a very high pressure just before entering the combustion (hot) section. There it is ignited, and sent out the back past another set of turbines which spin in the wake of the exhaust gasses (much like blowing into a small fan makes it turn) which in turn provide the rotation to the compressor section. It is completely self sustaining because the combustion section is constantly burning, so the flame is always there. So long as here is adequate pressure in the compressor section to keep the reaction moving front to back instead of the other way around. When the air pressure from the compressor section is inadequate to keep the combustion from going out the front, a compressor stall occurs.

    To answer your question, there are several times a compressor stall is likely to occur. It can be the result of damage to the compressor blades themselves, debris (birds, FOD on the runway, etc), or very intense precipitation. Therefore anytime you have the chance that something can disrupt the airflow, a compressor stall is a possibility. Good times for this to occur are during intense thunderstorms, or during takeoff when thrust is at a maximum and debris on the runway can get sucked into the engine.

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  2. Aaron on Nov 18, 2013

    Also, I almost forgot: when the angle of attack of an aircraft is either very high or very low, the airflow into the engine can be disrupted. It is much like an airplane wing stalls. The air cannot be efficiently taken into the engine, because it is “blocked” by the cowl. This causes insufficient airflow into the engine, and a compressor stall can occur here. This adds to the likelihood that a compressor stalls will occur during takeoff, because over-rotation of the aircraft can cause the angle of attack to become to great for the air to flow smoothly into the engine.

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  3. Sam Dawson on Nov 18, 2013

    I have gotten compressor stalls on two other occasions.
    One was fire fighting- I assume the fire on the ground sucked most of the oxygen necessary for engine combustion causing compressor stall.
    Second was during engine shut down on the ground in extremely hot -great than 120 degrees OAT, probably hotter on the ramp- and humid air (this was the Persian/Arabian Gulf).

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  4. Waqas zeb on Dec 15, 2013

    Compressor blades are much like aerofoils. air entering the compressor is always at a particular angle to the blades. This angle is AOA. The airflow entering the compressor is the resultant of compressor rotational velocity vector and incident air vector. Whenever rotational velocity vector would be greater than incident velocity vector the AOA would increase wrt the compressor blade. When it reaches the critical AOA the blade or blades of compressor stall

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