Environmental concerns and changing technologies will combine to make the next generation of aircraft quite different from those we see today. The first all-electric aircraft are emerging, and growing from 2 seat models to 8-9 seat models quickly. While full electrification of larger airplanes isn’t feasible from a battery standpoint, the potential for hydrogen fuel cells is under study and looks promising. The likelihood is that we will end up with a feasible and efficient hybrid propulsion system for commercial aircraft by the 2035-2040 time frame. That has implications for the near term, which will find derivatives likely rather than all-new aircraft.
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