A Practical Approach to Gas Turbine Engine Performance & Design using GasTurb14


by Dr. Ian Halliwell, Northwind Propulsion Inc.

  • This 32-hour course introduces GasTurb14 through software demonstration, complete engine model generations, simulations, and optional homework assignments.
  • All students will receive an AIAA Certificate of Completion at the end of the course


Gas turbine performance – usually over a specific mission or commercial route for a particular aircraft – is what engine manufacturers sell. Therefore, it is very important that we define and quantify performance clearly and unambiguously. High thrust and low fuel burn throughout the mission rank highly on the list of performance requirements but engine mass and complexity influence marketability very significantly on account of purchase price and operating costs. Prevailing temperatures of the hot components affect component lives very significantly, so the engine cycle selected at the design point is critical. Preliminary engine design and performance are linked inextricably. If incorrect decisions are made in the early stages of a new engine program, the best CFD in the world will not save the project!

“A Practical Approach to Gas Turbine Engine Performance & Design using GasTurb14” is a 32-hour AIAA Short Course, delivered in sixteen 2-hour sessions, presents:

  • an introduction to the overall performance of gas turbine engines used for aircraft propulsion
  • the contribution of each major flowpath component to complete engine performance
  • the use of appropriate trade studies to optimize design and performance choices
  • the structured development of an approach to the generation of engine performance models, with component masses and geometries, all based on GasTurb14 software, for which licenses and a User Guide will be provided

The course materials provided will cover all appropriate theory but will frequently be used only for reference and use between classes. Emphasis will be given to the demonstration of the software and its subsequent use by course participants:

  • an introduction to GasTurb14 will occur early in the workshop
  • the generation of complete engine models will be illustrated and be the topic of trade studies as homework between sessions
  • a recent topic in the AIAA Engine Design Competition “Let’s Re-Engine the Concorde” will be used to simulate the Rolls-Royce/SNECMA Olympus 593 and subsequently design a new low bypass ratio turbofan to today’s standards to power the existing Concorde aircraft


  • To establish the role of performance in an overall gas turbine engine project
  • To link design and performance processes
  • To convey and relate the roles and interactions of the relevant primary engine components
  • To illustrate the application and the power of an easy-to-use performance software to deliver accurate and reliable performance results
  • To teach workshop participants to use the software effectively

The workshop is aimed at those who need an engine design and performance tool that is easily used to build models of complete engine to estimate and study performance, such as:
  • Engineers in all branches of propulsion research or industry
  • Designers of compressors, turbines, and engine systems
  • University faculty members who teach courses in propulsion, thermodynamics and aerodynamics and other associated engineering subjects - and their students
  • Other propulsion engineering specialists interested in learning about the role of performance in a gas turbine engine program and how to optimize their effectiveness

Type of Course: Instructor-Led Short Course
Course Level: Fundamentals - Intermediate
Course Length: 4-5 days
AIAA CEU's available: Yes

This course is also available on-demand. Register here.



1. Basic Principles

1.1 How a Gas Turbine Engine Works

1.2 Engine Configurations

1.3 Major Components

1.4 Nomenclature, Station Numbers, Typical Mach Numbers

1.5 A Simple Turbojet with an Ideal Cycle

1.6 Efficiency & Other Definitions of Performance

2. Turbojets

2.1 A Real Turbojet Cycle

2.2 Augmented Turbojets

2.3 Optimization – A Parametric Study

2.4 Limits

3. Turbofans

3.1 Turbofan Features & Performance Benefits

3.2 Conventional Turbofans: The Quest for Reduced SFC

3.3 Two Spools vs. Three Spools?

3.4 Turbofans with a Gearbox

3.5 Mixed Turbofans

3.6 Augmented Turbofans

3.7 Moving towards High Speed Systems

4. Mechanical Systems

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Flow Path

4.3 “Working Components”

4.4 Frames and Ducts

4.5 Shafts and Bearings

4.6 Disks

4.7 Integration – the Overall Engine

5. Secondary Air Systems

5.1 More than Turbine Cooling …

5.2 … But Mostly Turbine Cooling

6. Compressors

6.1 Function, Environment, Basic Efficiency

6.2 Velocity Diagrams

6.3 Stage Characteristics

6.4 Compressor Design, Blade Flowfield, and Meanline Analysis

6.5 Three-Dimensional Flow & Radial Equilibrium

6.6 Diffusion

6.7 Mean Line Performance & Loss Models

6.8 Some Practical Issues

6 9 Compressor Performance Maps

7. Turbines

7.1 Function, Environment, Basic Efficiency

7.2 Velocity Diagrams

7.3 Stage Characteristics

7.4 Preliminary Design and Analysis

7.5 Mean Line Performance & Loss Models

7.6 Turbine Performance Maps

8. Exhaust Systems

8.1 Simple Convergent Nozzles

8.2 Convergent-Divergent Nozzles

9. Inlets

9.1 Subsonic Inlets

9.2 Mixed Mission Inlets

10. Combustors and Afterburners

10.1 Combustors

10.1.1 Combustor Introduction and Requirements

10.1.2 Combustor Types and Design Considerations

10.1.3 Combustor Efficiency

10.1.4 Combustor Pressure Losses

10.1.5 Combustor Temperature Distribution and Emissions

10.2 Afterburners

10.2.1 Afterburner Components

10.2.2 Afterburner Performance Simulation Requirements

10.2.3 Afterburner Flowfield Characteristics

10.2.4 Afterburner Pressure Losses in Afterburner Operation

10.2.5 Afterburner Efficiency

11. Engine Families

12. Modeling Existing Engines

Summary, Reprise, Questions, Discussion


Dr. Ian Halliwell obtained his B.Sc. in Aeronautical Engineering and M.Sc. in Aerodynamics from Imperial College, London, followed by a Ph.D. in Experimental Gas Dynamics from the University of Southampton. His professional career began in 1975 at Rolls-Royce, Derby in Turbine Aerodynamics Research. He then crossed the Atlantic to work for Pratt and Whitney Canada in Mississauga and subsequently GE in Cincinnati, where he moved into the preliminary design of complete engine systems and spent a few years on the High Speed Civil Transport program. During that period, he also began teaching in GE after-hours education.

While continuing to model complete engine systems, his teaching activities continued after moving to the small business world, as a contractor at the NASA Glenn Research Center and expanded through involvement with AIAA and ASME/IGTI. He chaired the AIAA Air Breathing Propulsion and Gas Turbine Engine Technical Committees and is still an active member of AIAA. He is also a member of the ASME/IGTI Aircraft Engine and Education Committees. His connection to students and university faculty was enhanced during the 14 years he organized the AIAA International Engine Design Competition for undergraduate teams.


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