An unusual teardrop-shaped aircraft with a pusher prop has been undergoing taxi tests at California Logistics Airport near Victorville, California, leading to speculation the Celera 500L is ready for its first flight. The plane has been under secret development for about a decade and is said to be an “extremely low drag” design that will fly at 60,000 feet, possibly using one or two diesel engines for power. It is being developed by the Otto Aviation Group, owned by former North American-Rockwell applied physicist William Otto, who was chief scientist for the B-1’s avionics system.
The most recent appearance by the aircraft included several high-speed taxi tests and the aircraft has grown winglets and a new prop since it was last spotted in December. The plane appears to be all composite and the bulbous design would lend itself to any number of configurations. The FAA registration says the aircraft has a Rakhlin Red A03 engine, a V-12 four stroke diesel that puts out 500 horsepower.