AITEB-2 is a project where aerothermal challenges of modern high pressure turbine designs are analyzed. One of the scopes of the project is to allow for new gas turbine designs with less parts and lighter jet engines by increasing the blade pitch and therefore the aerodynamic blade loading. For transonic profiles, this leads to very high velocities on the suction side and shock induced separation is likely to occur. The total pressure loss increase due to flow separation and strong shocks, as well as the underturning of the flow, limits the increase of the blade pitch. In this paper, experiments using a linear turbine blade cascade with high aerodynamic loading are presented. The blade pitch is increased such that at design conditions, a strong separation occurs on the suction side. The experiments were run at high subsonic exit Mach numbers and at Reynolds numbers of 390,000 and 800,000. In order to reduce the flow separation and the aerodynamic losses, air jet vortex generators are used, which create streamwise vortices prior to the separation start. Since in high pressure turbine blades film cooling is widely used, also the influence of film cooling both with and without using vortex generators is analyzed. Film cooling is provided on the suction side by two rows of cylindrical holes. This paper provides an analysis of the influence of different main flow conditions, film cooling, and vortex generators on total pressure loss, heat transfer and film cooling effectiveness. The experiments show that the vortex generators, as well as the film cooling reduce flow separation and total pressure losses. The effects are also seen in the local heat transfer, especially with enhanced heat transport in the region with flow separation. The cases presented in this paper deal with complex flow phenomena, which are challenging to be predicted with modern numerical tools correctly. Therefore, the experimental data serve as a comprehensive database for validation of simulation tools in the AITEB-2 project.