...Javelin On The Move

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Once considered by some to be a sleeper, at best, in the VLJ market, Aviation Technology Group's Javelin, a fighter-like two-place twinjet, has been piling up orders as it gets its prototype ready for its first flight. The company has also hired veteran Cessna exec Charlie Johnson as chief operating officer to guide the project through certification. Johnson took 20 Cessnas through the process and told a news conference on Tuesday he's excited about the prospects for the plane. More than 100 deposits have been received from individuals who'd like a $2.8 million, 600 mph jet that climbs at 10,000 feet per minute. But the military-style performance hasn't gone unnoticed elsewhere. At least one unnamed European country has ordered eight military training versions of the Javelin at a cost of $5.5 million a copy. The extra money covers ejection seats, military radios and electronics, including head up display. The prototype of the all-composite jet has been taxied as fast as 100 mph but the first flight won't be launched for six to eight weeks while the nose gear is redesigned to get rid of a shimmy.