TEI - International Manufacturer and Global Design Center Providing High Quality Products and Services to the Aviation Industry

In an interview with the President and CEO of TEI, Prof. Mahmut F. AKŞİT discusses the company’s steady advance in becoming a global leader in engine manufacturing through design, production and service of globally competitive, sustainable and indigenous aviation power systems and their derivatives

Issue 87

Defence Turkey: Let’s start with your assessment of 2018 from the perspective of TEI which set off on its journey in 1985 with the manufacturing of 12 parts. What can you say about the targets and expectations of TEI, which carries out all its projects and initiatives in line with its vision of becoming the Main Aircraft Engine Manufacturer?

Mahmut F. AKSIT: We started to operate in the field of parts manufacturing in 1985 with 12 parts, and now maintain our activities to manufacture more than 1,000 various parts for 45 different engine programs. We are now the biggest global supplier of the LEAP engine program, one of the most important projects we carry out in the field of parts manufacturing, with the business volume of US$ 2.5 billion, undertaken by us up until now, for the manufacturing of 32 different parts. We aim to increase our total sales and export figures by a minimum of 10% in 2018. We have also shown notable improvement in our national projects. 

We also improve our qualified labor each year to enable all our projects to attain the target of fully domestic processes set by our government in the defense industry. Accordingly, we aim to increase the number of our employees consistently in 2018. 

Defence Turkey: What can you say about the projects of TEI in the fields of Target Drone and UAV Engines? Can you please provide some information about the current situation in the ongoing PD155 ANKA Engine Project and PD170 Operative UAV Engine Development Project (OUEDP), and the deliveries realized under the scope of these projects?

Mahmut F. AKSIT: We maintain our UAV engine development projects in 2 separate groups; namely piston and jet engines. Our piston engine projects are also carried out in two categories: gasoline and diesel. We started mass production in our gasoline engine project and completed a flight period of more than 15,000 hours successfully. Under the scope of PD155 ANKA Engine Project, ANKA platform performed its first flights smoothly with our PD155 Engine in February.

We completed the design activities for the PD170 turbodiesel aviation engine, developed under the scope of the Operative UAV Engine Development Project, to a large extent. As part of the maturity activities carried out in parallel with each other on 4 different engine test stands, engine tests of more than 3,000 hours have been performed since January 2017 which marks the initial engine start-up. The endurance tests and continuously-developed design solutions enabled the engine maturity level to reach the sufficient level to initiate the flight tests. Integration activities of our engine on ANKA were completed in February, and the PD170 engine, we developed completely by making use of national resources and opportunities, will perform its first flight by the end of 2018.  

We have started the initiatives for our PD220 Engine, the upper version of the PD170 Engine. This engine will power the new-generation AKINCI UAV platform developed by BAYKAR A.Ş., as mentioned under the 100-day action plan announced by our President. To that end, we delivered our PD170 engine to BAYKAR A.S. on September 30 in order to prevent any interruption in design and integration activities, and to enable performance of the initial flight tests. 

Defence Turkey: Can you please inform us about the TS1400 Turboshaft Engine Development Project carried out with an intention to manufacture the turboshaft engine, to be used in the T625 Multi Role Helicopter, by utilizing national resources and opportunities?

Mahmut F. AKSIT: As part of the Turboshaft Engine Development Project; we have initiated the core engine process to perform the engine test to provide input to the design processes, and also to carry out the engine design, procurement, manufacturing, assembly and testing phases from beginning to end while maintaining design improvement and development activities. Following completion of the parts manufacturing process, we performed the engine assembly process including the sensor in a short period of time, and made it ready for testing process, and conducted the initial test through dry start-up. Upon the smooth dry start-up testing process, the initial test with the pilot fuel line - i.e. the first ignition - was also completed successfully. Then, we took a step forward and started our Core Engine with the pilot and main fuel lines. We aim to carry the engine designs to more satisfactory levels and perform the next engine tests based on the data obtained from the Core Engine tests, and to make the turboshaft engine ready for use on the planned date. 

Defence Turkey: Can you please give some information to our readers about the current situation in the T700-TEI-701D Turboshaft Engine Manufacturing, carried out by TEI to meet the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces, and the deliveries realized under the scope of this project?

Mahmut F. AKSIT: Our projects for the manufacturing of the T700-TEI-701D model turboshaft engines as part of the Utility Helicopter Program (UHP), carried out under auspices of the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) of the Republic of Turkey, are maintained at full speed. We are about to reach the final stage in setup of the bench to be used in engine testing processes, in addition to the parts and module manufacturing processes. 

On-the-job training for engine assembly and testing activities, as well as initial engine assembly processes will be held at our workshops, and training and projects are maintained in line with the schedule determined in parallel with the manufacturing and bench activities. 

We maintain all our operations in accordance with the industrialization engagement commitments that we have provided to our government for utilization of domestic suppliers, and we are always looking for ways to increase all these opportunities. 

With 4 engines planned to be delivered to Turkish Aerospace Industries in the last quarter of 2018, TEI will shift to the most extensive mass production engine manufacturing model following licensed manufacturing of the F110 turbo fan engine consisting of assembly and testing activities only. In addition to the Production Phase under (UHP), TEI will be able to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul services for the existing T700 engine inventory across Turkey.

Defence Turkey: You executed three different R&D Projects, namely Dinc, Atom and Elektron, with the SSB in January this year. What can you say about these projects developed especially with the intention of domestic manufacturing of all critical materials in aviation applications?  

Mahmut F. AKSIT: In accordance with the Road Map on Technology Acquisition of our Company; we gave priority to the Aerospace Stainless Steel and Nickel Based Super Alloy Development (DINC), Developing Nickel Metal Powder suitable for Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace Applications (ATOM), and Development of Titanium Additive Manufacturing Process with Electron Beam Melting (ELEKTRON), and initiated all these projects with the support of the Presidency of Defence Industries. 

Under the scope of the DINC Project; the base alloys needed will be generated through the primary melting method, and then they will be turned into aerospace stainless steel and aerospace nickel based super alloys through secondary melting methods.  Mechanical features of these alloys will be developed, characterized and verified through secondary processes in order to produce aerospace stainless steel and nickel based super alloys needed to be used in aviation platforms for the defence industry and civil purposes.

 Under the scope of the Atom Project; nickel alloy powders will be developed, which are subject to export license and are needed to produce nickel alloy parts, functioning under high load and temperature conditions in turbine engines used in the aviation industry, by means of the additive manufacturing method. 

Under the scope of the ELEKTRON Project; titanium aluminates, which are preferred for their low density, high oxidation resistance and high temperature resistance, and also titanium alloys, which are highly preferred in cold zone parts for their low density, high toughness and oxidation resistance, as well as nickel alloy parts, which function under high load and temperature conditions in turbine engines, will be manufactured by means of the Electron Beam Melting Method.

Defence Turkey: TEI was entitled to obtain the approved maintenance organization certificate from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Can you tell us the importance of this certification?  

Mahmut F. AKSIT: Part -145 Maintenance Organization Approval is granted by EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) to the organizations which will be authorized to perform maintenance activities for registered aircraft or components used for civil purposes in EU member countries. This approval is granted to maintenance organizations, based in EU member countries, by the civil aviation authority of the respective country while it is granted to the ones not based in EU member countries directly by EASA.

With the TP400 - D6 engine, we acted as the risk and revenue partner jointly with ITP Aero company (Spain) in the design and manufacturing processes.  It is the first military engine certificated by the EASA in accordance with the statutory civil aviation regulations. We applied with the EASA to obtain the Part -145 Maintenance Organization Approval to be able to perform depot-level maintenance processes of the Front Bearing Structure of the TP400 - D6 engine for which we assumed responsibility in the design and manufacturing processes under the scope of the project. We passed the audit, conducted by the EASA in the last quarter of 2017, and the Part - 145 Maintenance Organization Approval Certificate of our company was issued on January 03, 2018. With this certificate; our company

was approved by a civil aviation authority for the first time;

became the first defence industry company to be granted the Part - 145 authorization by the EASA in Turkey, and one of the 15 authorized maintenance organizations in the field of civil aviation.

proved that it has the competencies necessary in the field of civil aviation, in addition to the military field, in the aviation maintenance industry.

TEI will keep taking firm steps forward to be the preferred and leading company in the civil aviation maintenance industry.

Defence Turkey: Are the turbojet and turboprop configurations of the TS1400 Turboshaft engine on your agenda? 

Mahmut F. AKSIT: The turbojet demo version of the turboshaft engine was exhibited during the organization held with teenagers by our President at the premises of Turkish Aerospace and TEI.  It is ready to assume responsibility in all kinds of duties to be delegated for the development of the Turbojet and turboprop versions of the TS1400 Turboshaft Engine.

Defence Turkey: Can you share your opinions on the defence and aviation industry with us?

Mahmut F. AKSIT: Our country has made a big move in the defence and aviation industry in recent years. The support of our government is highly important in this move. This support has enabled Turkey to be one of the few countries which can manufacture their own aircraft, ship and tank. While we, as TEI, continue to do our part in this process, we are always ready to assume responsibility for all duties, as I have said before