An all-electric, zero-emissions airliner could be in service by 2035 if the aerospace industry pursues development of the necessary technologies over the next two decades, according to the prestigious Bauhaus Luftfahrt think tank.

Extensive studies of realistic roadmaps for future lithium batteries, high-temperature superconducting motors, aerodynamics, structures and materials show these can all be ready by 2030, with entry into service five years later, says Dr. Askin T. Isikveren, the head of Bauhaus’ Visionary Aircraft Concepts research group.

Bauhaus says the most economically feasible aircraft will be a 190-seater regional airliner for routes up to 900 miles. “In 2035, 79% of the world’s aircraft of this size will be used on these stage lengths,” he says, providing a ready market.

But will airlines want to buy an all-electric airplane in the A320/737 category, instead of its rival, which Bauhaus assumes for comparative purposes to be a turbofan-powered airliner with electrical architecture based on the Boeing 787 but evolved to 2035 technology?

Bauhaus’ Ce-Liner will be about 40,000 lb heavier than an A320, he allows, incurring 21% more in navigation fees and 14% more in airport charges, but it will recoup all of this through avoiding emissions taxes. “All in all, it will be a cash-neutral outcome compared to the equivalent evolution of a 2010 aircraft,” says Isikveren.

Is it worth doing just to break even? “One can get zero emissions for a neutral cash operating cost,” he insists. And then one must consider the benefit to the environment. The highly ambitious goals of the EU’s FlightPath 2050 vision for aviation call for a reduction of 75% in CO2 emissions and a 65% reduction in noise from aircraft in 2000 “and challenges like these can be met only through new ideas and innovations, through thinking in ambitious terms.”

Bauhaus Luftfahrt is exhibiting here for the first time in its own booth at Hall 2/2407.