The unsteady behaviors and three-dimensional flow structure of the spike-type stall inception in an axial flow compressor rotor have been investigated by experimental and numerical analyses. In order to capture the transient phenomena of spike-type stall inception experimentally, “SFMT (Simultaneous Field Measurement Technique)”, by which instantaneous pressure distributions on the casing wall were acquired, was developed. By applying this technique, the unsteady flow pattern on the casing wall was extracted for each phase of development process of the stall inception. The details of three-dimensional flow structure in the stall inception process were revealed by the numerical analysis using a detached-eddy simulation (DES). At the stall inception, the characteristic patterns of the casing wall pressure distributions are observed in the experimental results: the low pressure regions moving in the circumferential direction and the variations of the low pressure regions at the leading edge. Considering the results of DES, these patterns are made by the vortices fragmented from the deformed tip leakage vortex or the tornado-type separation vortex and also are made by the tornado-type separation vortex itself, as well. The vortical flow structures have been elucidated. These vortices actually result from the leading edge separation at the blade tip. Therefore, it has been found that spike-type stall inception is dominated by the leading edge separation at the rotor blade tip.

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