Aerospace Compressors and Fans


Barber-Nichols Inc. (BNI) has the experience to design, produce, and test aerospace compressors and fans for your most demanding applications. BNI can design custom, or modify existing, compressors and fans to accommodate a wide variety of applications. Compressors and fans are conceptually designed using meanline and streamline software. BladeGen® is then used to generate the three-dimensional blading and CFD Analysis is used to optimize the blade design for performance and noise reduction. BNI utilizes Stereolithography (SLA) generated investment castings and/or five-axis machining to rapidly and cost-effectively produce prototypes. Some of the most demanding applications required small and/or lightweight fans with:

  • Discharge Pressures Reaching 61 cm (24 in) of Water
  • Tip Speeds Reaching 333 m/s (1,100 ft/s)
  • Volumetric Flow Rates Reaching 23,786 m3/hr (14,000 ACFM)

Aerospace Fan

Model BNP-12-000 Environmental Control System Fan


Transonic Fan

BNI teamed with Lockheed Martin to work on an unmanned, lighter-than-air vehicle that will maintain a geostationary position at an altitude of 65,000 feet. The vehicle, known as a High Altitude Airship (HAA), is being built by Lockheed Martin and is being funded by the Missile Defense Agency. Specifically, Barber-Nichols designed and produced the transonic fans that control the vehicle's internal pressure and cause it to descend. To operate properly at altitude, the fan blade's tip speed moves in excess of 333 m/s (1,100 ft/s). As gas accelerates through the fan's converging and diverging blades, it reaches a relative supersonic speed. CFD Analysis drove the fan's blade design and the sonic barrier was crossed at a point that minimized shock losses.

Model LMA-01-000 Transonic Fan   Model LMA-01-000 Transonic Fan In HAA
Model LMA-01-000 Transonic Fan in Lockheed Martin's High Altitude Airship (HAA)
Barber-Nichols Inc. | 6325 West 55th Avenue Arvada, CO 80002 | Phone: (303) 421-8111 | Fax: (303) 420-4679 © 2015 Barber-Nichols Inc.