"Others may eliminate the conventional wings-and-fuselage design in favor of one that blends the two elements, all to further the cause of lower emissions.... To achieve the drastic emissions reductions that may be required by the middle of the century and beyond — to make aviation as carbon-free as possible — new 'clean sheet' aircraft designs may be needed, incorporating new technologies and approaches.... 'The idea is to ultimately replace the entire trailing edge of an aircraft wing with technology like this, so you could continuously change the shape of the wing to reduce drag and increase lift,' said Ethan Baumann, chief engineer for the test jet. The technology could also allow the drag and lift forces to be shifted around the wings to avoid overloading, so the wings could be lighter than conventional ones. The idea behind distributed propulsion is to take the engines from their usual position hanging below the wings and put them elsewhere. Becausee [sic] jet engines are complex, heavy devices, distributed propulsion designs almost always involve simpler and smaller electric motors.... Given the current limitations of batteries, the modified aircraft will only be able to make short flights. Battery technology may never improve enough to make all-electric planes practical..."
From "Rethinking the Airplane, for Climate’s Sake."
Here's a radical rethink: Fly less. We can cut emissions in half by flying half as many planes.