We present an approach for modelling unsteady, primarily one-dimensional, compressible flow. The conservation laws for mass, energy, and momentum are applied to a staggered mesh of control volumes and loss mechanisms are included directly as extra terms. Heat transfer, flow friction, and multidimensional effects are calculated using empirical correlations. Transformations of the conservation equations into new variables, artificial dissipation for dissipating acoustic phenomena, and an asymmetric interpolation method for minimising numerical diffusion and non physical temperature oscillations are presented. The capabilities of the approach are illustrated with an example solution and an experimental validation of a Stirling engine model.