It looks like a Dornier 328JET. It was a Dornier 328JET - but not all of it still is. Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works has just flown the Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft (ACCA), built for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. The aircraft made its first flight on Tuesday from Palmdale's Plant 42.
Photo: Lockheed Martin
You have to look closely to see that the ACCA has a new fuselage, from the flightdeck aft, and a new vertical tail. The cockpit, wing and engines are straight from the original jet. The new wider fuselage, which includes a rear loading ramp, and raised tail are totally new.
ACCA is designed to demonstrate that large carbonfiber composite structures, produced using out-of-autoclave processing, can dramatically reduce the cost of building a transport aircraft. It is part of technology work at AFRL to pave the way for the Air Force's next tactical airlifter, wherever than might happen.
A previous Ares blog including descriptions of the structural technology and pictures of ACCA in build.