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The 200th Test Flight Accomplished in “Hürkuş” Program

Issue 62

TAI Integrated Aircraft Group Head and Executive Vice President of Aircraft Group Özcan Ertem shared the recent developments regarding the development of the “Hürkuş-A” program that was launched in 2006 as part of the Air Forces Command’s new generation basic training aircraft requirements and the final status of the military version “Hürkuş-B” program that is about to go under serial production. Stating that the “Hürkuş” program was composed of two phases Ertem said, “The program we name as Hürkuş-A covers the development of a prototype, whereas Hürkuş-B includes the serial production process that is planned to be registered into Air Forces Inventory and intended to carry modern military avionic equipment”. Mentioning that the test flights within the scope of “Hürkuş-A” development program was being conducted through two air-mobile prototypes, Ertem continued, “In accordance with this development program, the prototype production of two air-mobile prototypes and two structural test prototypes were accomplished. Our two air-mobile prototypes are conducting their test flights. Besides, they achieve a sortie flight each day. One of our structural test prototypes was tested under the toughest load conditions and successfully accomplished its task. Our other prototype is currently under production. Regarding this prototype, we will be applying lower forces to the aircraft for 24 hours and conducting exhausting flights and thus will be testing the aircraft. With this test, we will arrive at the time that none of the aircrafts achieved and measure the stress and endurance of the aircraft. Thus we will be able to perceive if the aircraft will be going through any problems during its flight life. We hope to initiate fatigue tests in August with this prototype”.

Air-Worthiness Certificate by the end of 2015

Stating that the air-worthiness “TYPE” certification from Turkish General Directorate for Civil Aviation and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will be obtained by the end of the Project, Ertem said, “Regarding this matter, we completed approximately 80 percent of our activities. With the help of the flight tests to be conducted throughout the year, we aim to obtain the certificate from EASA by the end of this year. This certificate will be certifying that our aircraft actually meets all required conditions. Briefly, the “Hürkuş” aircraft has to cover approximately 23 thousand requirements. Presently, we are continuing our efforts by fulfilling all the requirements”.

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Hürkuş Experimental Test Pilots; Murat Özpala and Murat Keleş (photo by Sinan Kutsal ®Defence Turkey Magazine)

 

 

Hürkuş-B Model to be in the Air Forces Inventory in June 2018

Within the scope of the “Hürkuş-B” model that constitutes the second phase of the Program, the activities are being carried out simultaneously. While moving onto “Hürkuş-B” from “Hürkuş-A”, a transition from Analog Cockpit to the Glass Cockpit will be accomplished as well. During this transition, some changes in the main systems will occur too. A central control task computer will be designed and manufactured under the responsibility of Aselsan. A graphical MFD display will be manufactured; Radio MXF-484 used in KT-1s will be utilized. Digital Communication System will be developed digitally for the first time in addition to the utilization of the Friend-Foe recognition system at the KT-1s, taking the logistical partnership into consideration and the INS/GPS system will be nationally developed by Aselsan. The remaining systems that are equipped with the Rudder System, Stall System, Radar Altimeter and Digital Video Data Recording System will exist in “Hürkuş-A” model different from the previous one. Expressing that these systems are currently under production at Aselsan, Ertem said “In line with the program schedule, our first aircraft is planned to enter into the inventory in June 2018. Within the first year following the first delivery, we aim to accomplish delivering one or two aircrafts each month and complete the delivery of 15 aircrafts in June 2019, in a total period of 60 months”. Mentioning the requirements of the Air Forces Command on some alterations in Canopy and launching seat systems of the A model, Ertem added that some changes will be made in the software of the compression system as well. 

The certification of the variations to be added to the “Hürkuş-B” model will be monitored and granted by an authority composed of the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries, STM and Air Forces Command. Thus, the “Hürkuş-B” Model will receive the Military Certification. Upon the admittance of the Military Certification, the export potential of the Hürkuş-B model is expected to increase.

15 Hürkuş-B New Generation Basic Trainer Aircrafts will be produced at the initial stage. If required as part of the contract an optional lot of 40 Hürkuş-B’s are aimed to be produced additionally. Expressing that they are optimistic on the evaluation of the optional package of 40 aircrafts Ertem said, “We have 40 optional aircrafts within the scope of our contract and the assessments regarding this package are continuing. I assume that if a resolution on this matter is made by the Defence Industry Executive Committee, an increase may appear in the production within the program. On the other hand, we believe that additional aircrafts may be required as part of the international school of flight that will be launched by the Air Forces Command”. 

Operation Concept is expected to be created for “Hürkuş-C” Model

With the inclusion of the Hürkuş-B model into the inventory, the conceptual design activities of the “Hürkuş-C” for fulfilling Turkish Armed Forces’ armed close air support and reconnaissance – surveillance requirements is planned to be initiated simultaneously. Commenting on this issue Ertem said, “Regarding the Hürkuş-C model, our Air Forces Command would have to identify an operation concept and we would create a solution accordingly. For example, if the aircraft will need to remain in the sky longer, we will utilize two of the suspensions as fuel tanks and place the weapons into the exterior stations. Surely, for realizing all these, firstly our Air Forces would have to identify its operation concept. This aircraft we name as the Hürkuş-C model features a load carrying capacity for up to one and a half tons of useful load. Through which systems and ammunition this load will be carried or which type of fuel tank will be selected, these all will be clarified as a result of this concept study. The production costs will emerge based on the concept to be created. In conclusion, if the Defence Industry Executive Committee decides upon the quantity and quality of its Hürkuş-C order, we will launch the Hürkuş-C configuration accordingly”.