Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft

Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft

The Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft (ACCA) is a project of the United States Air Force's Air Force Research Laboratory. It is a two-jet engined transport aircraft which will demonstrate new cargo-carrier capabilities. It will be built by the international aerospace company Lockheed Martin, at its Advanced Development Programs ("Skunk Works") department.

Design and development

The ACCA will be a one-off aircraft to demonstrate the use of advanced composite materials in the fuselage of an otherwise conventional high-wing transport aircraft. There are no plans to place the ACCA into production.

The design will be based on the existing Fairchild Dornier 328JET, which is a two-jet-engine high-wing transport aircraft. The fuselage of that aircraft, which presently is constructed of aluminum alloys, will be replaced aft of the entrance door with a newly-designed fuselage. The new design will make extensive use of advanced composite materials, selected to allow curing at lower temperatures and pressures than previous materials. The new fuselage component will allow the loading of cargo through a rear ramp.

The new fuselage section will be constructed as a single large component. When attached to the existing nose section, the fuselage will be 55 feet (16.8 m)long. It will be 9 feet (2.74 m) diameter.

The fuselage section ahead of the entrance door will consist of the existing (metal) 328J component, with fasteners used to bring the forward and new aft sections together.

As of April 2008 the fuselage was being fabricated. The first flight of the modified aircraft is expected during the winter of 2008/2009. [ Aerospace Engineering & Manufacturing, May 2008, p. 23-24 - monthly publication of SAE International] ]


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