Nowadays, in civil aviation, issues related to improving efficiency, reducing the costs of air operations as well as the negative impact of air transport on the environment are of increasing importance. These ideas allow the formulation of the paradigm relating to the development of air transport – ‘more Efficiently, more Economically, more Eco-friendly – 3E’. The article presents in a cross-sectional and synthetic way research conducted by leading scientific centres around the world as well as prototype aviation constructions designed by companies from the aviation industry. Benefits and disadvantages of future propulsions, such as purely electric, hybrid and distributed propulsions, were presented. Conclusions were formulated regarding further possible directions of civil aviation development, taking into account the improvement of its efficiency as well as economic and ecological indicators.

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