A report on the state of aviation battery technology | Airlines

Batteries could, at least in theory, prove to become the industry panacea that delivers true zero-emissions flight.  

They already did the trick for cars. In less than two decades, starting from rather lackluster performances, electric cars have managed to outcompete their fossil-fuel-powered equivalents in several markets. 

But lifting an aircraft off the ground and getting it to fly fast and far is a challenge of a rather different magnitude. If you are looking for a Tesla-like version of your typical mid-sized airliner, you’d better be patient. 

The energy density provided by present day battery technology makes anything other than small, short range electric planes nothing more than a pipe dream. 

However, as is usually the case with emerging industries, there is hope that a combination of scientific advances and industrial learning curves will keep pushing the technological frontier further and further onwards. This has, after all, been the story of so many other advanced tech industries, from microchips to electric cars. 

Is the battery industry in a position to deliver on these expectations, then?  

Which are the most experimental battery chemistries currently being developed for the aviation market?  

Are there any real prospects of batteries powering anything…

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