Turkey plans to produce domestic airplane by 2019
REUTERS PhotoThe Turkish government has introduced a national airplane construction project entitled “A Turk in the sky,” with jets completely designed and built by Turkish engineers and flying as soon as 2019.
“The first plane to be built within the framework of Dornier 328 model will start flying in 2019,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said May 27 at the project’s launch ceremony in Istanbul, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.
“The design of the 628 model airliner will be completed in 2020. The first  flight will be in 2023,” he added.
The planes will not only be used as passenger airliners but also as military transport aircraft, VIP planes and air ambulances, he said.
“As a rising country, Turkey has been very late in developing its national defense industry. It acted very slowly and lost decades,” he added.
He stated that Turkey would be a country which no longer buys weapons, planes, trains and technology from other countries.
The Dornier 328 model, which is used in other countries, has the capacity of 32 passengers. By using this model, Turkey will develop the 628 model with the capacity of 60-70 passengers by 2023, according to the press release. The Transport Ministry and the Undersecretary of Defense Industries will run the project.
The main contractor of the project will be STM Defense Technologies (STM), which inked a memorandum of understanding with U.S.-based Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) to develop the airplane, according to the press release.
The accompanying systems of the initial airplane with the capacity of 32 passengers will be produced by Turkish TAI, Aselsan, TEI, Havelsan, THY Technic, Alp Aviation, Kale Aviation, TCI, TSI and others under the leadership of STM.
The jet engine model of the airplane will be named TRJ-628 and its turboprop engine model, TR-628.