The Future Of Civil Transport AircraftGuy Norris March 17, 2021
Some surprising new shapes and propulsion systems could be coming soon to the skies near you. Driven chiefly by the demands for greater sustainability at one end and higher speeds at the other, the expanding portfolio of future commercial transport aircraft will include an unprecedented variety of configurations. These will range from familiar-looking tube-and-wing designs adapted to fly on liquid-hydrogen fuel to all-new electric- and hybrid-electric-powered, fixed- and rotary-wing urban and regional transport designs. In the higher-speed regime, the return of civil supersonic, and ultimately hypersonic, designs is forecast within the next 5-15 years.