An investigation has been made to explore the possibilities of axial-flow compressors operating with supersonic velocities into the blade rows. Preliminary calculations showed that very high pressure ratios across a stage, together with somewhat increased mass flows, were apparently possible with compressors which decelerated air through the speed of sound in their blading. The first phase of the investigation was the development of efficient supersonic diffusers to decelerate air through the speed of sound. The present report is largely a general discussion of some of the essential aerodynamics of single-stage supersonic axial-flow compressors. As an approach to the study of supersonic compressors, three possible velocity diagrams are discussed briefly. Because of the encouraging results of this study, an experimental single-stage supersonic compressor has been constructed and tested in Freon-12. In this compressor, air decelerates through the speed of sound in the rotor blading and enters the stators at subsonic speeds. A pressure ratio of about 1.8 at an efficiency of about 80 percent has been obtained.
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