The paper describes the aerodynamic CFD analysis that was conducted to address the integration of an embedded-engine (EE) inlet with the fan stage. A highly airframe-integrated, distortion-tolerant propulsion preliminary design study was carried out to quantify fuel burn benefits associated with boundary layer ingestion (BLI) for “N+2” blended wing body (BWB) concepts. The study indicated that low-loss inlets and high-performance, distortion-tolerant turbomachines are key technologies required to achieve a 3–5% BLI fuel burn benefit relative to a baseline high-performance, pylon-mounted, propulsion system. A hierarchical, multi-objective, computational fluid dynamics-based aerodynamic design optimization that combined global and local shaping was carried out to design a high-performance embedded-engine inlet and an associated fan stage. The scaled-down design will be manufactured and tested in NASA’s 8′×6′ Transonic Wind Tunnel. Unsteady calculations were performed for the coupled inlet and fan rotor and inlet, fan rotor and exit guide vanes. The calculations show that the BLI distortion propagates through the fan largely un-attenuated. The impact of distortion on the unsteady blade loading, fan rotor and fan stage efficiency and pressure ratio is analyzed. The fan stage pressure ratio is provided as a time-averaged and full-wheel circumferential-averaged value. Computational analyses were performed to validate the system study and design-phase predictions in terms of fan stage performance and operability. For example, fan stage efficiency losses are less than 0.5–1.5% when compared to a fan stage in clean flow. In addition, these calculations will be used to provide pretest predictions and guidance for risk mitigation for the wind tunnel test.

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