Blades are key part of hydro turbines, which often distorts during heat treatment process for their special structures. In this paper, thermal-fluid finite element simulation of the forced air cooling process of a blade casting was carried out under a variety of distances between fans and blades, air speeds, groups of fans and circumstance temperatures. The temperature fields of blade castings were obtained. A novel parameter, temperature difference between surfaces of castings along thickness direction, was proposed to analyze the distortion of blade castings. The distortion behavior of blade castings with martensitic stainless steel were discussed, which is in good agreement with distortion regularity of the experimental ones. The temperature differences between blade casting surfaces are always greater than zero, resulting in distortion which could be divided into three stages. Finally, we focused on discussing the control methods of distortion behavior of blade castings which could be operated in actual production. © 2012 Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland.