Will I be able to book a commercial electrical flight between London and New York in 2040?
38
143
730
2040
29%
chance

The price needs to be lower than a business-class flight today, £8k, inflation-adjusted.
If the flight is driven by part fossil fuel and part electrical flight it does not count (except for reaching cruise altitude, see discussion in comments!).

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bought Ṁ10 of NO

Battery-electric seems an obvious no.

Would fuel cell electric count? I assume synthetic fuel (net-zero carbon, electrolytic hydrogen process, etc.) would not count.

I think the synthetic fuel option is actually reasonably likely.

predicts NO

@EvanDaniel to be honest I won't pretend to be competent for this judgment call, even if ideally it should have been stated beforehand. What do you and @ElliotDavies think?

predicts NO

@HenriThunberg Personally I think that these are three very different questions:

  • Battery electric flight

  • Fuel cell or otherwise electric drive train but running on fuel

  • Synthetic fuel but conventional jet engines

I think you should include the first, second is a judgment call, third should not be included. I think either answer is fine on the second case, just pick one and make it clear. There's enough traders on this question to suggest that making a second version of it so that both versions exist might be interesting.

predicts NO

Cursed gettyimages cover picture generation

Do lighter than air aircraft count?

bought Ṁ65 of NO

@TonyBaloney emm if it'scommercially viable so that I can book it as an individual, then sure.

bought Ṁ100 of NO

Great question! How would you resolve a H2 or NH3 fuel cell with electric propulsion?

bought Ṁ100 of NO

By "Start and landing" do you mean it could be fossil fuel all the way up to cruise level and then electric?

predicts YES

@NiklasWiklander I unsuccessfully spent 60 seconds trying to find something like a fuel-density over in-flight time graph. Suggestions? Basically I imagine ≥80-90% should be electric, but I am unsure to what extent that answers your question.

Maybe "commercially marketed as fully electric", and accepted as such by public audience including critics, is a better resolution criteria? Or at least an aid in the direction to think about it.

predicts NO

@HenriThunberg I found this: https://aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/47262/how-much-fuel-is-used-for-the-different-phases-of-the-flight-of-a-typical-airlin

A somewhat qualified guess on my part (lots of sim-flying, aerospace college) is that for London-NY about 10-15% of the fuel is spent getting up to cruise level. So your 80-90% would allow for a climb to cruise using jet engines.

predicts YES

@NiklasWiklander thanks! I am happy with allowing this then. Are you? Significant fuel cuts and certainly an 80/20 improvement to the current state.

predicts NO

@HenriThunberg As long as it's clear to everyone what the resolution criteria are, I'm happy. :)

I've been thinking about this as a good part-way-solution for a while. There is such a ridiculous difference in power required for takeoff/climb compared to just cruising along. Low hanging fruit.

Most likely lots of R&D going into this already, however I'm still doubting that this will happen before 2040, hence my big bet on no.

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