Revert back to airships?
Hydrogen's nice and light, but needs three times the volume as aviation fuel if stored as liquid (very cold). Six times the volume if stored as 700bar pressurised gas.
So planes will significantly need bigger fuel tanks, but will save energy by not having to carry as much fuel weight around.
Batteries, with current technology, aren't as energy-dense as liquid hydrogen. But easier to handle.
Volumetric energy capacity:
- Petrol/aviation fuel: around 34 MJ per litre
- Compressed hydrogen (700 bar): 5.6 MJ per litre (fuel tanks six times larger)
- Liquid hydrogen: 10.1 MJ per litre (fuel tanks three times larger)