Good point Kevin. We've got so many more tools available to us now that can be used to examine and optimize shapes that it makes such stuff possible. Where before much of this sort of thing would have taken many hours or even days of computations we can make a change in shape and map the pressure and flow charactaristics in seconds. Such ability can make the application of such properties more practical than previously.
As an example this Boeing blended wing/body design is the inspiration for my reply and is far more typical of what we've seen on most designs;
All in all though for Frank's project I'm pretty confident in saying that he stands to get more MPH per Kw of battery and very likely better slow speed acceleration from a belly mounted fan unit that has as little structure in front of it as possible.