Peterson J-4 Javelin

The Peterson J-4 Javelin is an American, single seat, mid-wing glider that was designed by Max A. Peterson in the late 1960s and produced by the Peterson Sailplane Corporation in small numbers. The glider was type certified and put into production in 1973.[1][2][3]

J-4 Javelin
Role Glider
National origin United States
Manufacturer Peterson Sailplane Corporation
Designer Max A. Peterson
First flight 1969
Introduction 1973
Status No longer in production
Number built 8

Design and developmentEdit

Peterson designed the J-4 based on lessons he learned with his earlier Peterson Medena design. The J-4 is a single seater, but can carry a child in the small seating area behind the pilot.[1][2]

The J-4's fuselage is made from steel tube with the lower part covered in a fiberglass shell and the upper part sheet aluminium. The wing is built around a chem-milled tubular spar and is assembled predominantly with pop rivets. The wing has no ailerons and instead roll control is via upper surface spoilerons that eliminate virtually all adverse yaw. Spoilers are also provided for glide-path control. The landing gear is a monowheel.[1][2]

First flown in 1969, the J-4 was Federal Aviation Administration type certified on 6 February 1973. A pilot production run of eight examples was completed, but production was not continued. Poly Industries of Ontario, California produced aircraft under licensing agreement from Peterson Sailplane Corporation, who held the type certificate.[1][2][3]

Operational historyEdit

In 1983, six of the original eight built were reportedly still flying and there were still six registered in April 2011.[2][4]

Specifications (variant specified)Edit

Data from Sailplane Directory, Soaring and FAA type certificate [1][2][3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Wingspan: 49 ft 0 in (14.94 m)
  • Wing area: 126 sq ft (11.7 m2)
  • Aspect ratio: 20.1:1
  • Airfoil: NACA 64(3)-618
  • Empty weight: 512 lb (232 kg)
  • Gross weight: 804 lb (365 kg)


  • Never exceed speed: 120 mph (190 km/h, 100 kn)
  • Maximum glide ratio: 30:1 at 65 mph (105 km/h)
  • Rate of sink: 126 ft/min (0.64 m/s)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Activate Media (2006). "Javelin J-4 Peterson". Archived from the original on 2 May 2002. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Said, Bob: 1983 Sailplane Directory, Soaring Magazine, page 17. Soaring Society of America, November 1983. USPS 499-920
  3. ^ a b c Federal Aviation Administration (May 1976). "TYPE CERTIFICATE DATA SHEET NO. G3WE" (PDF). Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  4. ^ Federal Aviation Administration (April 2011). "Make / Model Inquiry Results". Retrieved 5 April 2011.

External linksEdit