Turkish first indigenous multirole helicopter, the T625 Gökbey developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), is set to fly with a domestically produced engine by the end of the year, a company official said Friday.
Speaking on the sidelines of Teknofest, Turkey’s largest aerospace and technology gathering and the world’s second-biggest aviation event, TAI Helicopter Vice General Manager Yıldırım Kemal Yıllıkçı told Anadolu Agency (AA) that certification and development test flights of the Gökbey are continuing successfully and that when its engine, produced by TAI’s Engine Industries (TEI), is integrated into the helicopter it will gain full independence in terms of using only nationally sourced parts.
He said that every day the company tests a new feature or a new capability and that “pilots quite like it.”
Yıllıkçı noted that when Gökbey begins using the domestically produced engine, Turkey will be among only six or seven nations in the world that truly design and manufacture a helicopter with local resources.
“Some countries develop helicopters, but they do this with the emphasis on joint work, such as taking their engine and dynamic system from a certain helicopter and adapting them to their own,” he said, stressing that the gearbox, blades, rotor, hub system, avionics systems and landing gear of the Gökbey are already locally designed and produced.
Multipurpose helicopters are the type most used around the world, he said, noting that once Turkey’s needs are met, they are planning to sell the Gökbey to several other countries.
The T625 is being developed as part of the Original Helicopter Program, coordinated by the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB). A twin-engine, six-ton-class aircraft designed for high mission flexibility even in the toughest of geographical environments and adverse weather conditions is being created in response to growing market demand for higher mission flexibility in this class.
Power for the T625 prototype was previously coming from a pair of LHTECs, CTS800 4-AT turboshaft engines that have 1,373 shaft horsepower (shp) each, created in a joint Rolls-Royce and Honeywell partnership
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