Dynamic Components & Landing Gears of T-70 Helicopters Delivered Under the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program

The delivery ceremony of the first batch of Dynamic Components and Landing Gears to be used in the T-70 helicopters under the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program (TUHP) was held on January 15, 2020, at Alp Aviation facilities in Eskişehir

Tarih: Issue 97 - January 2020

President of Defence Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR, Vice Presidents of Defence Industries Serdar DEMİREL, Harun ÇELİK, and Dr. Celal Sami TÜFEKÇİ, Governor of Eskişehir Özdemir ÇAKACAK, Combatant Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff Major General İsmail GÜNAYDIN, 1st Air Supply and Maintenance Center Commander Brigadier General Gürhan ERGÜRHAN, Chairman of the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAŞ) Board of Directors Prof. Oğuz BORAT, President & CEO of Turkish Aerospace Prof.Temel KOTİL, President & CEO of TEI Mahmut Faruk AKŞİT, Chairman of the SSI Board of Directors Latif Aral ALİŞ, Chairman of the Alp Aviation Board of Directors Tuncer ALPATA, Deputy General Manager of Turkish Armed Forces Foundation (TAFF) Sadık PİYADE, and senior executives of several Turkish Defence Industry companies and Sikorsky Aircraft participated at the delivery ceremony held at Alp Aviation facilities in Eskişehir. During the ceremony, the Main Gearboxes/Transmission, Main Rotor Heads, Intermediate and Tail Rotor Gearboxes, and the Main and Tail Landing Gears to be used in the T-70 helicopters were delivered to Turkish Aerospace.  

Taking the floor at the ceremony, Chairman of the Alp Aviation Board of Directors Tuncer ALPATA stated that Alp Aviation has made stepwise investments to reach its goals and said: “Alp Aviation used to manufacture detailed parts and combine these to produce intermediate systems, but as of today, we have become a company that can build whole systems and manage processes successfully from detailed parts to the final test. In this context, we are having a historic day. We have achieved this success together with the will and support of our Presidency and the Presidency of Defence Industries, Industry 4.0 processes, and the devoted work of our colleagues. Once again, I would like to thank all our colleagues, our Presidency of Defence Industries, and our friends at Sikorsky Aircraft.”

In his speech, Chairman of the Turkish Aerospace Board of Directors, Prof. Dr. Oğuz BORAT pointed out that Turkish Areospace aims to be an integrator company and said: “As TUSAŞ, our goal is to be an integrator company. We want to transform the existing defence industry in Turkey into organizations that create added value. The Presidency of Defence Industries plays a leading role in the emergence of this structure. The products we will receive today marks an important milestone for the Turkish Defence Industry. In this regard, I especially want to congratulate Alp Aviation staff and wish them success.”

Prof. İsmail DEMİR: “The Local Content Ratio in the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program Reached 63%”

Speaking at the ceremony, President of Defence Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR shared information about the deliveries and the overall management of the program. “We are witnessing a critical stage of the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program. We are very proud to hold a ceremony in this facility that we had opened in 2017, and in this regard, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to such a project. Within the scope of the T-70 program, we plan to manufacture 109 helicopters in 2 different configurations in line with the needs of 6 different users. However, this 109 number is likely to increase further, and studies are continuing.”

Prof. İsmail DEMİR also emphasized the importance of the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program for the defence industry. “I would like to underline an important concept here; thanks to the policies we have implemented under this program, our localization rate has reached 63%. With this program, Alp Aviation has become a company that not only manufactures parts but also produces sub-systems and integrates them. Eskişehir has become an important center for the aviation industry and will become even more critical in this field. Some restrictions imposed on our country, suspensions in the F-35 project and large and small embargo decisions cannot stop us; on the contrary, it speeds us forward even further.”

Underlining that the technical knowledge gained from the TUHP program will be used in future projects, İsmail DEMİR said, “We have now moved to a new phase in helicopter platforms. Our domestic and national helicopter GÖKBEY made its first flight. We acquired certain competencies in the field of transmission systems, gears, and landing gears. What we expect from the main contractor is the optimum utilization of this competence and succeeding with both GÖKBEY and our future helicopter platforms with the same level of cooperation.”

T-70 Helicopters Dynamic Components and Landing Gear Production Contract Started in 2016.

Within the scope of the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program (TUHP), Alp Aviation signed a contract with Turkish Aerospace in 2016 for the production and delivery of T-70 helicopters “Dynamic Components and Landing Gear” and also signed a contract with Sikorsky Aircraft to export these products. To carry out engineering, manufacturing, quality control, and testing processes of critical sub-systems to be produced under the program, Alp Aviation established the “Helicopter Business Center Facilities” with an investment of US$ 90 million in the Eskişehir Organized Industrial Zone. On October 3, 2017, an inauguration ceremony was held with the participation of the then Prime Minister Binali YILDIRIM and the President of Defence Industries İsmail DEMİR. Gears, gearboxes, dynamic components, rotor assemblies, flight control systems, and landing gears will be produced for helicopters, especially the S-70 Medium Transport/Utility Helicopters at the Center and Alp Aviation aims to create a business volume of US$500 Million in the long term. 

With its extensive experience in machining spanning 15 years, Alp Aviation manufactures Helicopter Dynamic Parts & Assemblies, Helicopter Tail Rotor Drive Shaft System (TRDS) Parts & Assemblies, Dynamic & Static Engine and APU Parts, Landing Gear Parts & Assemblies, Structural Parts & Assemblies for Aircraft, Hydraulic and Fuel Systems Tube Assemblies, and subsystems for the Aerospace Industry. As one of the few companies that manufacture flight-critical parts in the world, the total business volume of Alp Aviation has exceeded US$7 Billion thanks to long-term agreements. Alp Aviation aims to increase its value-added technological product exports, currently approaching US$200 Million annually, to US$350 Million in 2023. Alp Aviation successfully completed the engineering, manufacturing and testing processes in a timely manner following the project schedule under the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program and delivered the first batch of its products.

First Deliveries of T-70 Utility Helicopters Will Begin in 2021

Within the scope of the program, the main contractor Turkish Aerospace and the subcontractors Sikorsky Aircraft, Aselsan, TEI, and Alp Aviation will produce 109 T-70 Utility Helicopters based on the Sikorsky S-70i Helicopter under license in Turkey for the next ten years, and they will deliver these helicopters to six different users (Land Forces Command, Air Force Command, Special Forces Command, Gendarmerie General Command, General Directorate of Security and General Directorate of Forestry). Within the scope of the “Dynamic Components Project” under the TUHP program, Alp Aviation will produce the Main Rotor Heads, Main Gearboxes/Transmission, and the Intermediate and Tail Rotor Gearboxes. Alp Aviation will also provide 104 chipsets for the dynamic components as part of the project.

The functional tests of these products were successfully completed at the qualified test stand established at Alp Aviation facilities. The standards used in the production, assembly and testing phases of the TUHP program were prepared by Alp Aviation engineers, taking into account the NADCAP “Flight Safety Criteria,” including all user approvals. With the “Value Flow Analysis” (VFA) studies carried out at the beginning of the project, the requirements for the assembly and test processes were determined by the parties in the most suitable way, and an integrated structure covering all activities was created under a single roof. 

Under the "Landing Gear Project," which constitutes another part of the program, the production of the Main and Tail Landing Gear to be used in the T-70 helicopters is also carried out by Alp Aviation. Within the scope of the project, all engineering, manufacturing, special process, assembly, and testing activities were completed using Alp Aviation capabilities, and all qualification tests under the TUHP program were successfully carried out at Alp Aviation facilities. Utilizing its vast technical expertise from landing gear component and subassembly production for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) directly in this project, Alp Aviation ensured that all processes were completed without any problems. In addition to supporting the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program with serial production, these products can also be exported to the American aircraft manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation through agreements. Since Alp Aviation's work share under the project includes various critical parts and subsystems of Black Hawk helicopters, it will also be possible to meet the spare part and after-sales support needs of all global users with national capabilities. 

Within the scope of the program, the main contractor Turkish Aerospace is responsible for the production, final assembly, testing, and integrated logistics support of all main parts such as the cabin, cockpit, tail cone, vertical and horizontal stabilizers, and the main and tail rotor blades of T-70 helicopters. Aselsan will develop and integrate the main avionics and codevelop the helicopter cockpit with Sikorsky. TEI will produce the T700 engine. Alp Aviation will manufacture the landing gears and gearboxes, and both manufacture and assemble the dynamic components. The subsystems to be delivered under the program will not only meet the needs of Turkey but will also meet the needs of several countries both in our region and the world. 

The first T-70 Utility Helicopter, produced by the main contractor Turkish Aerospace, is expected to roll out of the hangar in November 2019, and the first deliveries are planned to begin in 2021