Skip to comments.Javelin: your own personal fighter jet
Posted on 12/17/2006 6:34:49 AM PST by Flavius
The Javelin is a new jet, currently in flight testing, that combines the best elements of a business jet with the handling and performance of a fighter. The $2.8m two-seater jet can climb at 10,000 feet per minute and cruise at 0.90 Mach (525 KTAS). The baggage compartment even has room for two golf bags. I spoke to Rob Fuschino, vice-president of operations and chief test pilot at the plane's manufacturer ATG to find out more.
Hows the test program going?
Its going very well. Right now, the flight test program is with a pre-production prototype aircraft. Weve flown it five times and retracted the gear. Its just come out of modifications and were doing the paperwork to begin full envelope expansion. The modifications will allow fully movable and retractable flaps.
The prototype was built specifically to gather the information to validate the wind tunnel information. It has the shape of the aeroplane so that we could go up and validate the numbers in the big wind tunnel in the sky. A lot of the internal systems are not production standard.
At Centennial Airport here in Colorado, the runway is being resurfaced and we expect to start flying in the second week in July when it's done.
How does the prototype fly?
Rob Fushino standing in front of the Javelin Rob Fuschino It's exceeding our expectations. Performance-wise its right where we thought it would be.
Handling is an area that I love as a former military test pilot with a masters in control theory. As part of our design requirements we want the plane to be completely predictable and precise and never surprise the pilot. We also want the airplane to be extremely manoeuvrable but not get you into trouble.
We have a unique flight control system that combines hydraulics and electrical actuators which lets us do all our stability augmentation through electronic means. This means we can smooth out any rough edges in the flying qualities of the airplane, although the handling is exceptional as it is. If you lose hydraulics you get a manual reversion and now your stick is controlling the flying surfaces directly.
What systems do you have planned?
* Pressurisation. Right now its 8.6psi which allows an 8,000 foot cabin at 45,000 feet. This will give you a shirt sleeve environment but there are operating regulations that require single pilots to wear masks above 35,000 feet.
* Ejection seat. Not on the civilian aircraft. Its a dual engine aircraft that must meet FAR 23 and EASA regulations. Itll be like any other GA aircraft. Ejection seats are more of a liability than a help. The canopy has been designed so that you will have an easy time getting in and out of the aircraft. Its not like airstairs but we have a boarding ladder that weve done good ergonomic studies.
* Deice. It will be certified for known icing.
* Bird strike protection. Even though there is no requirement for bird strike protection in FAR 23, were building the windscreen thick enough to protect the pilot and passenger up to 240 knots.
* Avionics. The cockpit is going to be an immersive environment for the pilot and passenger. We have a two-screen configuration but we are looking at a three-screen configuration for a number of reasons because so much is going to be done through the glass so we want to reduce the pilot workload. Its a very integrated airplane much of the control of systems will be through the glass. Well have WAAS-enabled GPS and were planning for expansion capabilities for ADS-B, LPV (GPS WAAS approaches), an option for colour weather radar, an option for fighter-style heads up display (but not forward-looking infrared) and well be RVSM capable. We also have traffic awareness and EGPWS. Were with Avidyne right now.
It is a jet so in order to be licenced youll have to have a type rating. I see safety as a three-legged stool. The first leg is the plane itself. The second leg is training. A lot has been done with FITS and FAA training requirements. Well go above and beyond those. Well partner with a major training program but well keep tight control of the syllabus. Well take best practices from FITS and military and civilian Part 121 air carrier training. Were going to split 50:50 between simulator and actual flight training. We want to immerse the pilot in the real experience. We plan to offer to the best training in the industry. We also have a 1,500 hour minimum including a minimum of 200 hours of turbine time were not taking Baron pilots who are stepping up. Most of our optionholders already own a jet.
The third leg is what I call operational excellence. In an airline you have an operations manual and oversight. Were going to ease into that with mentor pilots drawn primarily from a military background. Itll be tailored to each particular pilot. We dont have the ability to fire anyone so we have to use a bigger carrot so were going to use our customer service program to roll all of the customer service together with constant engagement with our pilots. Well have turkey shoots, newsletters, safety magazines. We can make all that part of the recurrent training.
What will you need to do before you are certified?
Were going to have four aircraft in the flight test program. The first conformed aircraft should be flying at the end of '07 and we have a one-year program due to finish at the end of 2008.
How confident are you that you'll get there in the end?
As normal for start-up manufacturers, were trying to build an airplane and a company at the same time. But the plane has captured the attention and imagination of many people including large aircraft companies (including Israeli Aircraft Industries).
We have a unique market segment. We have a dual market, much like Pilatus, with military and civilian customers. Also, weve been very successful so far in raising funds. We have 100 employees now.
This is not an easy thing to do there are huge barriers to entry. Regulations make it a steep mountain to climb. But I think were over the hump.
Okay, I want one. If I order today, how much will it cost and when will I get it?
If you order now, you can expect delivery in 2010 although we do have some possibilities for 2009. We have 107 deposits in the book. The price is $2.795m in 2005 dollars.
It looks like I'll need to get a few more clicks on my Google adverts!
Be patient. I have no doubt that were going to be a success and that the aircraft is going to change the marketplace!
i wont one bad
Let's get two ...
Does anyonoe know if it started life as the BD-10?
i really dont know
but now i really have to start trading better to afford one of these things
wonder if one can make it fly on biodiesel
seems like a really small market niche. I say it fails due to lack of buyers.
It's cool, but even the 40 year old F-4 could do mach 2. I suppose making this jet supersonic would make it magnitudes more expensive. I've heard that you can buy surplus MIG's, for that matter.
Now there's an idea. I can see it now...
"The Javelin. A first-line jet to equip your personal AVG. For when your government is too PC to do the blatantly necessary. Take it for a test flight, and receive a stack of complimentary target maps."
Can it straife Tehran??? If so I'll take 3!
well...up until now, I couldn't think what I wanted for Christmas...
From the 4 photos under the photo of the fighter, I can see they used a lot of stealth technology!
Seriously, they should have built a 3 seater, given the fact that that there's room for 2 golf bags... Pilot, Passenger, and caddie.
I bet Rush has one
You shouldn't hot-link photos from other people's websites.
Download the photos to your hard drive, then upload them to http://tinypic.com and link to them from there. Tinypic is free.
It doesn't seem to be BD-10 derived... I found this info. at
Peregrine Flight International, Minden NV.
1994 = Continuation of Bede BD-10 with GE J85 as a home-builder kit. A crash in testing killed the president of the company. Acquired by Fox Aircraft of Minden, but its president, too, was killed in a crash. In 1996 Monitor Jet Corp of Canada took over but, despite claim of 12 standing orders, no production was forthcoming. Next? SEE Vortex.
1997: Vortex Aircraft Co, San Diego CA on acquisition of rights to Bede assets.
PhoenixJet 1998 = Resurrection of twin-tail Bede BD-10, but redesigned with subsonic wing as a military JPATS primary trainer.
Not a very good record.... I remember Fox Aircraft and the large hangar they had at Minden NV. They had about 5 completed when one crashed due to asymmetric flap deployment, if I remember correctly....
what caliber of ammo?
They need to radically redesign aircraft. Eliminate the long nose and look at it from a circular standpoint. You know, like UFOs are.
The Harley Davidson of the flight set.
The wings looked awefully small to me too, more of a guided cruise missle look.
I suppose they could have named it "Okha".
My first thought...
I wouldn't go up in it... it would be better suited as a drone or a cruise missile...
Yes and being transported from hole to hole seems to be a most formidable feat for a near mach 1 golf cart.
Flying mach 1 or greater is still illegal over the continental US anyway.
Nice Plane!I could use one in my garage. The First pic looked real sharp although the others looked like the plane was in stealth mode (invisable).
I've heard that you can buy surplus MIG's, for that matter.
Those seem to be very good performance numbers :) Now if I only had a spare 3 million lying around. Of course I would like to be able to fly to Hawaii, or across the pond....
"Its an underpowered, under-winged death-trap."
You forgot one more attribute: it is uninsurable. There is not an underwriter out there that would write a policy on one of these. Single-engine turboprops cost $25k per year at the very low end (<$1mm hull value). Pilot requirements are high for even turbine malibus; I cannot imagine what this would require: 5000' landing rwy? 110 KIAS Vso? This is not the answer for GA, that's for sure.