This paper describes an experimental investigation of the effects of air-assist upon the penetration and dispersion of a liquid fuel jet that is injected into cross-flowing air. The spray patterns across the central longitudinal plane were investigated at flow conditions similar to those encountered at the combustor inlet of a modern gas turbine engine. Temperatures of the cross-flow and assist air were at 316 and 427°C, while test-channel pressures were set at 2.02 and 2.53MPa. Jet-A fuel was injected through a wall-recessed plain orifice into a rectangular test-channel where the cross-flow air velocity was Ucross-flow=75m/s. Assist air was injected from four slots surrounding the fuel orifice within the wall-recessed well. The air-assist jets impinged upon the fuel jet at a 45° angle. Pressure drops across the air-slots were limited to ≤4% of test-channel pressure to simulate the difference between stagnation and static pressures on a typical fuel-air mixer/injector. Thus, the assist-air-to-liquid fuel mass-flow ratios (ALR) were limited to 0.41, which was much lower than those used in traditional airblast atomizers with ALR in the range of 1 to 10. Momentum-flux ratios (J) of the fuel jet to cross-flow were varied between J=5 to 40. A 355nm planar laser was used to illuminate the spray’s central plane to capture images of liquid droplets Mie-scattering. An attempt was made at correlating the trajectories of the jet using an effective momentum-flux ratio Jeff that accounts for air-assist jets’ momentum. It was discovered that air-assist had limited influence on the spray’s outer-edge penetration, while it strongly enhances the penetration of the inner-edge and spray centerline. Air-assist’s effects were also found to be proportional to ALR. Contrary to the results of airblast jet-in-cross-flow researches, it was found that at J∼5, when the sprays’ inner-edges were close to the wall, air-assist enhanced the inner-edge penetration in a manner that was not well-captured by Jeff. Finally, it was also observed that sprays at 2.53MPa were more sensitive to J and air-assist variations than sprays at 2.02MPa.

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