We won't have electric airplanes until battery tech improves

Today’s commercial airliners are not exactly fuel efficient. The average 747, for example, burns through a gallon of kerosene-based fuel every second that it flies. And with 8.2 billion people expected to take to the skies annually by 2037, carbon-free alternatives to Jet A-1 will be necessary in order to offset the industry’s impact on global warming. We are nearing the age of electric airplanes.

Pioneering researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs have been working on the dream of electrified flight since the latter part of the 19th century when heavy lead-acid batteries were loaded onto early airships to power their propellers. We’ve also seen a number of, ahem, novel means

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