The following study was undertaken on the assumption that hydrocarbon-based fuels may not be acceptable in the very long term, because of environmental concerns. A possible future fuel is hydrogen, and this study explores a novel proposition for a civil airliner using hydrogen fuel. The technical challenges of this preliminary investigation were: a) the integration of an electric power plant (Fuel Cell) into a Blended Wing Body (BWB) aircraft, and b) to investigate the possibility of reducing the aircraft’s profile drag by boundary layer re-energization. For the re-energization of the boundary layer and for propulsion during cruise, the study considered High-Speed/High Specific Power (HS/HSP) motors, situated at the trailing edge (TE) of the center body, driving fans. Re-energizing the boundary layer of the center body, would reduce the profile drag of the aircraft and hence, the total fuel burn. The take-off requirements of the aircraft were met, by high by-pass ratio (BPR) turbofan lift engines, operating on hydrogen, for a V/STOL (Pachidis, 2000b).

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