In this paper, research that was carried out to optimise an initial variable guide vane schedule of a high-pressure ratio, multistage axial compressor is reported. The research was carried out on an extensively instrumented scaled compressor rig. The compressor rig tests carried out employing the initial schedule identified regions in the low speed area of the compressor map that developed rotating stall. Rotating stall regions that caused undesirable non-synchronous vibration of rotor blades were identified. The variable guide vane schedule optimisation carried out balancing the aerodynamic, aero-mechanical and blade dynamic characteristics gave the ‘Silent Start’ variable guide vane schedule, that prevented the development of rotating stall in the start regime and removed the non-synchronous vibration. Aerodynamic performance and aero-mechanical characteristics of the compressor when operated with the initial schedule and the optimised ‘Silent Start’ schedule are compared. The compressor with the ‘Silent Start’ variable guide vane schedule when used on a twin shaft engine reduced the start time to minimum load by a factor of four and significantly improved the operability of the engine compared to when the initial schedule was used.

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