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TURKISH STARS

The Turkish Air Force having taken its place in world aviation hi

Issue 29


THE FIRST ACROTEAM IN THE TURKISH AIR FORCE

The first acroteam to be considered as qualified according to modern and advanced technology in aviation within the Turkish Air Force was formed right after the transition to the jet era in 1952 under the name “National” and for a decade undertook demonstration flights both at home and abroad. The first jet base of the Turkish Air Force at the Bal?kesir 9th Air Base Command realized these acroteam flights with the F-84 G Thunderbirds.

THE SECOND ACROTEAM IN THE TURKISH AIR FORCE

The call sign of the second team established in 1955 at the Eski?ehir 4th Air Base Command was the “Flying Swans.” Painted in red and white with a swan motive drawn at the nose end, the F-86 E Sabre jets used by the acroteam continued its activities for a decade. With the 9 and 12 jet formations that took place in 1964, the Flying Swans took an important place in Turkish and world aviation history.

THE THIRD ACROTEAM IN THE TURKISH AIR FORCE

The acroteam established at the Diyarbak?r 8th Air Base Command towards the end of 1957 known under the call sign “Scorpion” continued its activities until 1959. The type of aircraft used by the acroteam the F-84 G participated in various displays both at home and overseas (Pakistan).

THE FOURTH ACROTEAM IN THE TURKISH AIR FORCE

The acroteam under the call sign of “Bats” was formed at the Merzifon 5th Main Jet Base Command in 1964. Using the F-86 E Sabre, the aircraft was painted with a special motive in black and white colors, this acroteam was active for 2 years having carried out acrobatic displays with 5, 9 and 12 jet formations.

THE FIFTH ACROTEAM IN THE TURKISH AIR FORCE

Established in 1966 and remembered by the call sign “Eagle” from 1966 to 1971, this acroteam, after Air Pilot 1st Lt. Co?kun Turan assigned to the team became a martyr during flight duty in May 1971, adopted the call sign “Co?kun.” Established at the Band?rma 6th Main Jet Base Command, the acroteam’s jet type was the F-5 A Freedom Fighter. The acroteam under the call sign “Co?kun” undertook flight demonstrations in Turkey and overseas (Italy in 1971).



THE SIXTH ACROTEAM IN THE TURKISH AIR FORCE

In order to undertake flight displays in the celebrations to mark the 900th anniversary of the Malazgirt Victory in 1971, the 5th Main Jet Base Command was established in Merzifon during the same year. The acroteam formed just for this occasion flew the F-5 A Freedom Fighters.

THE SEVENTH ACROTEAM IN THE TURKISH AIR FORCE: THE BIRTH OF THE “TURKISH STARS”

A continuously active acroteam was not present during the years from 1971 to 1992. After two decades the Turkish Air Force took the decision to form an acroteam again and commenced activities to carry out the project in 1992.

Dual training started in 1993 and designed acrobatic movements were carried out with five jet sortie flights finally achieved the desired result. Later right and left wing flight training began and moved on to four jet training. During this period a section of the personnel taking part in the acroteam were sent to the U.K., Canada and Italy to carry out observations on this subject. In order to make the duty of an acroteam more secure and effective, a study was begun on 27 April 1993 starting with a smoke system and the painting of the jets as well as modifications on flight security enhancements for the NF-5 aircraft. While this work was continuing, on the closing day of the Firing Competition on 18 June 1993, the Air Force Command realized its first official display of the Turkish Stars acroteam from the 4th Main Jet Base Command in Ak?nc?, Ankara with a four jet display to government and state officials and other guests. Soon after this display the Turkish Stars having won the status of a fleet made a name for themselves as the youngest supersonic acrobatic team in the world.

In August of 1993, while aircraft modifications and painting activities started at the Eski?ehir 1st Air Supply and Maintenance Center Command, five and six formation flight training started during the same period.

The repairs and modifications to the 9 NF-5 and 1 NF-5B aircrafts allocated to the Turkish Stars acroteam were completed in July 1994 and delivered to the fleet.

The Diyarbak?r 8th Main Jet Base Command following the F-16 activation ceremony on 5 October 1994 carried out displays on Republic Day celebrations on 29 October 1994 in Ankara.

The Turkish Stars, with the Distant Thunder 95 Exercises executed in Eski?ehir on observers day undertook the first seven formation display to Turkish and foreign guests on 20 April 1995.

The displays put on by the Turkish Stars at Baku, Azerbaijan on 24 August 2001 drew over one million observers and broke a record in this area.

During the 2003-2004 academic year, the Turkish Stars, started work in order to further the effectiveness of the displays and increase the display package to an 8 formation and achieved the first 8 NF-5 package display in 2004.

As the only acroteam in the world to put on a display with 8 supersonic NF-5 aircraft, the Turkish Stars presently continue with their displays with 10 NF-5 and 6 NF-5 B aircrafts at the 134th Acroteam Fleet Command.
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