Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is showing off its brand new indigenous utility helicopter for the first time. The T625 designation is derived from the six ton weight of the helicopter, two engines and five rotor blades.
The full scale mock up is fitted with elements of the real helicopter, which is expected to make its first flight on 6 September 2018. There will be two more prototypes that will follow in six month intervals according to the Executive Vice President, Metin Sancar. Each will be used to speed up the certification of the helicopter and there is a lot of local interest.
“In the military market, the Turkish Army and Turkish Air Force has an ageing fleet of UH-1Hs, while the Turkish Police have also shown interest,” according to Mr Sancar. The military derivatives will cover the utility role as well as search and rescue which will include a hoist being attached.
Sancar also said that gearbox development has almost been finished, with the manufacturing phase now underway. Completion is expected by the end of the year, and ground testing expected in early 2018. Turkish certification is being targeted by the end of 2020 and EASA certification afterwards.