Things didn’t go so well the last time an aircraft designer stored hydrogen fuel above the passenger cabin. (“Oh, the humanity!”)
But Boeing’s engineers for the Blended Wing Body (BWB) apparently think it will work out differently this time. They’ve recently applied for a patent (posted on 25 September) for a specialized fuel tank to carry hydrogen gas aboard the futuristic BWB.
Not only does this bring to light Boeing’s interest in hydrogen fuel for their next-generation airliner/tanker/airlifter/bomber concept, it also shows a very creative solution to the problem of carrying highly flammable hydrogen on board a commercial or military aircraft.
Boeing approaches this problem by designing a ring-shaped tank filling the perimeter of the blended fuselage body. The tank would be stored in the loft space above the passenger compartment.