This article discusses gas turbine efficiency, which is an essential but often unappreciated aspect of turbomachine design pitch. To an engineer, the pitch of a turbo machinery blade is the angle at a representative blade cross-section between the blade chord line and the plane of the blade’s rotation. An axial flow gas turbine consists of many rows of rotating blades, interspersed with rows of stationary airfoils, called vanes or stators. The gas turbine compressor (whose first row of rotating blades in a jet engine may be a fan) draws in air, which after passing through a combustor to add energy to the air flow, powers the turbine which drives the compressor. Most modern commercial jet engines are turbofan, with a front mounted fan, whose size is indicated by the bypass ratio. During the 1990s, jet engine companies developed and tested variable pitch turbofans, with cycle studies showing between 6 and 14% fuel savings. If fuel savings could spread through the airline industry, changing the pitch could lead to air carriers singing a happier tune.

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