B-1H Lancer


The B-1H version would be a heavily modified B-1B Lancer strategic bomber, which would be specifically designed for carrying out high-risk missions against fortified underground facilities. The B-1H would use hydrogen as fuel instead of kerosene.

Simplified structural diagram of the operation: 

1. Air-intake into the jet engines.
2. Jet engines powered by hydrogen gas.
3. Thrust from the jet engines.
4. The kerosene tanks are replaced by secondary cryogenic liquid hydrogen storage tanks.
5. Secondary liquid hydrogen supply for the heat exchanger.
6. Heat exchanger. The intake air is transformed into liquid by this device, while the liquid hydrogen would transform into gas.
7. Air-intake to the heat exchanger.
8. Hydrogen gas supply for the jet engines.
9. Liquid air to the primary cryogenic storage tank.
10. Primary cryogenic storage tank. This large tank would be integrated in one of the internal bomb bay. For safety reasons, this cryogenic storage tank could be dropped.
11. A threaded rod would be integrated longitudinally in the middle of the primary cryogenic storage tank.
12. A circular separator could rotate on the threaded rod. Thus, while the liquid hydrogen is consumed from the primary cryogenic storage tank, the emptied part of the tank can be filled by liquid air.
13. Primary liquid hydrogen supply for the heat exchanger.
14. Liquid hydrogen supply for the rocket engine.
15. Liquid air supply for the rocket engine.
16. Rocket engine. The rocket engine would be integrated into the tail of the B-1H.
17. Thrust from the rocket engine.

Simplified example of a mission:

As for the take-off, both primary and secondary cryogenic storage tanks would only be filled with liquid hydrogen.  The B-1H would take-off in a traditional way by using the jet engines powered by hydrogen gas.

In the first stage of the flight, the B-1H would consume the liquid hydrogen from the primary cryogenic storage tank, and while continuously using the heat exchanger, the primary cryogenic storage tank would be partly filled with liquid air. The separator in the primary cryogenic storage tank would rotate to the other side of the tank in accordance with the consumption of liquid hydrogen.

Thanks to the creation of liquid air during the flight and the joint use of the primary cryogenic storage tank, a rocket engine can be used without any excess weight required by the storage of liquid oxygen.

In the second stage of the flight, which is reaching the enemy airspace, the B-1H would switch from the jet engines to the rocket engine. The rocket engine would use the liquid hydrogen and the liquid air from the primary cryogenic storage tank. In the enemy airspace, the B-1H would continuously increase its speed and flight altitude. The rocket engine of the B-1H would be powerful, but not much more than its four jet engines, so the speed of the B-1H would not exceed its structural ability.

On the way, by reaching the target, the B-1H would release a bunker buster (MOP) bomb. Thanks to the higher speed and flight altitude the bomb can hit the ground with greater force.

In the third stage of the flight, which is leaving the enemy airspace, the B-1H would completely drain the primary cryogenic storage tank, while slowing down the speed and reducing the flight altitude required to restart the jet engines. After the rocket engine burnout, the B-1H would switch back to the jet engines.

Since the primary cryogenic storage tank is empty, from now the B-1H would use the secondary cryogenic storage tanks. From this point the heat exchanger would not create liquid air, only the liquid hydrogen would transform to gas for the jet engines. Because with empty primary cryogenic storage tank, without liquid air, the landing is much safer.

The benefits of the B-1H Lancer:

The first thing that long-range aircrafts from the SR-71 to the B-1B Lancer do on a mission is the air refueling. This is not possible with liquid hydrogen. With the excess weight of the heat exchanger, the rocket engine, and the cryogenic storage tanks, and without the possibility of air refueling, the armament capacity of the B-1H would be much less than of the conventional B-1B Lancer, but it would still be enough to fulfill wide variety of tasks, and the much higher flight altitude holds many possibilities.

For example, contrary to the F-15, the B-1H could launch a much larger and much heavier missile from a higher altitude, where atmospheric friction is less significant. This would also allow the launch of a smarter anti-satellite missile that does not destroy the targeted satellite on a kinetic basis and creating debris, but put a small interceptor satellite on the same orbit, which could blow it off the targeted satellite with an instant curing foam sealant that closes the maneuvering nozzles and darkens the optics.

Flying at higher altitude, where is the oxygen not enough for the conventional jet engines, interceptor aircrafts such as the MIG-31 are dangerous just because of their air-to-air missiles. However, due to the minimal humidity of the rarer atmosphere, the capabilities of a defensive weapon such as the ATHENA Laser Weapon System are also multiplied.

Thus the primary task of the B-1H would be to strike against fortified underground facilities, but it would also be ideal for a dozen other purposes.