Turkey reveals domestic training airplane Hürkuş
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Hürkuş is scheduled to make its first flight in egiht or nine months, according to the Turkish Aerospace Industries officials. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ
The Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) have revealed Hürkuş, or “free bird” in English, the domestically designed, developed and produced aircraft for both military and civilian usage.
Along with Hürkuş, TAI also showcased domestic unmanned air vehicle ANKA and T-129, the attack helicopter jointly developed with Italian firm AgustaWestland.
It was the first time Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had witnessed a showcase of ANKA and T-129. However, he did not want the media surrounding him during his visits to the UAV and the helicopter.
Erdoğan praised the very first Turkish pilots and air industrialists Vecihi Hürkuş, Nuri Demirağ during his speech at the ceremony, which was also attended by Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz, Development Minister Cevdet Yılmaz, and Chief of General Staff Necdet Özel.
“They faced many problems. Their efforts that merited awards were all blocked at the time,” Erdoğan said.
Turkey was introduced to aviation 101 years ago, and is at a turning point today, he added. “Today we are at the stage of becoming one of the most powerful air forces in the region with modern air vehicles and production,” Erdoğan said, noting that the Ottoman Empire had only ever had two planes.
He later boarded the plane wearing a pilot jacket, in which he posed for the media.
The aircraft will be used to execute basic pilot training, instrument flying, navigation training, and weapons and formation training missions.
Hürkuş is expected to be exported as a civilian and military flight trainer aircraft.
The first Hürkuş will have a civilian certification. It is built adhering to the EASA CS 23 standards. However, the upcoming prototypes will have military standards. It has tandem seat configuration for a student pilot and an instructor.
TAI General Manager Muharrem Dörtkaşlı said some 140 engineers and 70 technicians had taken part in the development process.
Some 500 test flights will be conducted before the first planes are delivered in 15 or 16 months. The first flight will not be made before eight months, Dörtkaşlı said. The average age of the staff is around 30, he added.
The Turkish defense industry has been focusing on national projects for the last few years, with a number of large projects.
Commenting on the issue, Dörtkaşlı said the young staff would also take part in developing UAVs, satellite systems, national fighter jets, training planes and helicopters.
“We believe that Turkey will have its own brands in these fields,” he added.