After decades in which aircraft have been powered by fossil fuels, aviation stands on the verge of the electric age.
Advances in materials, battery technology and electrical systems promise cleaner, cheaper commercial flights, writes Peggy Hollinger at bizjournals.com.
Limitations to electrical systems mean that for the foreseeable future these aircraft will mainly be hybrids, combining traditional gas turbines with power from on-board generators. But even hybrids will enable designers to reimagine the modern aircraft. Instead of jet engines hanging off a wing, multiple motorised fans could be distributed across an aircraft, offering a new canvas for designers to dream up more aerodynamically efficient and potentially safer vehicles.
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