News: ACCA becomes X-55
By Gary Parsons on 14 October 2009, 14:13
The Air Force Research Laboratory has allocated the designation X-55 to Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft demonstrator.
October 14: The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has allocated the designation X-55 to Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft (ACCA) demonstrator.
The ACCA programme replaced and widened the mid-to-aft fuselage and tail of a Dornier 328J with an advanced composite structure. The project began ten years ago with industry and government laboratories collaborating in the AFRL-led Composites Affordability Initiative, designed to achieve cost-saving processes and pave the way for future design work on the US Air Force’s next strategic airlifter to replace the C-5 Galaxy.
A test programme of around 15 to 20 flights is expected over the next few months. The US Air Force gives 'X' designations to experimental aviation programmes that “advance new and challenging aviation concepts”.