Best Of The Best 2006: Javelin Jet
George Bye, CEO of Aviation Technology Group (ATG), imagines the following scenario: “Take a parking lot full of sedans, station wagons, trucks, and SUVs, and in roars a bright red Ferrari. That’s the Javelin Jet.” Indeed, with its swept-back wings, bubble canopy, and twin tail, the Javelin, like a Ferrari, sports head-turning looks—though it resembles a jet fighter more than it does a sports car. ATG, which has former Cessna president Charlie Johnson as its president and COO, equipped the plane with two efficient Williams International turbofans and designed it to climb to 10,000 feet in 60 seconds and cruise at 600 mph.
The prototype was introduced in September, and flight tests are under way. Thanks to the aircraft’s lightweight, composite fuselage, the two jet engines produce a thrust-to-weight ratio greater than that of the supersonic T-38 Talon. The plane can climb to 45,000 feet and cover 1,500 miles nonstop, and it also is fully aerobatic.
The Javelin offers sex appeal and speed but is practical as well. Bye notes that of the 100-plus pilots in line to buy one—ATG expects to begin delivering the $2.8 million plane in 2008—most plan to use it for business as well as for leisure travel and aerobatics. Convenient for vacationers, the cargo hold will carry as much as 200 pounds of luggage.
Despite its small size, the Javelin does not sacrifice comfort: The two seats, one behind the other, are 36 inches wide, providing more room than a first-class airline seat. The sophisticated engine controls and avionics are fully integrated, and the surrounding canopy affords a wide-open view.