In this paper, the effect of aerodynamic asymmetries on the flutter characteristics of turbomachinery blades is investigated. Specifically, the present method is used to study the effect of leading edge blending in loaded and unloaded rotors. The unsteady aerodynamic response of the blades to self-excited vibrations is modeled using a harmonic balance method, which allows one to model the entire wheel using complex periodic boundary conditions and a computational grid spanning a single sector (symmetry group). This reduces the computational and memory requirements dramatically compared to similar time-accurate analyses. It is shown that alternate blending degrades the stability of a loaded rotor whereas it improves the stability of an unloaded rotor. On the other hand, when blends are spaced five blades apart their effect is less pronounced. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.