Assessment of hydrogen transport aircraft: Effects of fuel tank integration

G. Onorato, P. Proesmans, M. F.M. Hoogreef*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


Zero-carbon-dioxide-emitting hydrogen-powered aircraft have, in recent decades, come back on the stage as promising protagonists in the fight against global warming. The main cause for the reduced performance of liquid hydrogen aircraft lays in the fuel storage, which demands the use of voluminous and heavy tanks. Literature on the topic shows that the optimal fuel storage solution depends on the aircraft range category, but most studies disagree on which solution is optimal for each category. The objective of this research was to identify and compare possible solutions to the integration of the hydrogen fuel containment system on regional, short/medium- and large passenger aircraft, and to understand why and how the optimal tank integration strategy depends on the aircraft category. This objective was pursued by creating a design and analysis framework for CS-25 aircraft capable of appreciating the effects that different combinations of tank structure, fuselage diameter, tank layout, shape, venting pressure and pressure control generate at aircraft level. Despite that no large differences among categories were found, the following main observations were made: (1) using an integral tank structure was found to be increasingly more beneficial with increasing aircraft range/size. (2) The use of a forward tank in combination with the aft one appeared to be always beneficial in terms of energy consumption. (3) The increase in fuselage diameter is detrimental, especially when an extra aisle is not required and a double-deck cabin is not feasible. (4) Direct venting has, when done efficiently, a small positive effect. (5) The optimal venting pressure varies with the aircraft configuration, performance, and mission. The impact on performance from sizing the tank for missions longer than the harmonic one was also quantified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-845
Number of pages33
JournalCEAS Aeronautical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Aircraft Design
  • Fuel tank integration
  • Hydrogen Aircraft


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