Turkish-made helicopter prototype ready for flight test

By Goksel Yildirim and Sadik Kedir Abdu

ANKARA (AA) – The Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has built the country’s first prototype of a new generation, twin-engine multi-purpose helicopter that will perform its test flight later this year.

The prototype of T625 helicopter, which is made to efficiently endure adverse weather conditions, has been transferred to a facility for the ground tests.

Following the intensive system test, the flight tests of the indigenously made helicopter would be carried out.

The multi-purpose helicopter program — which is also known as the Original Helicopter Program and envisioned to meet the needs of the Turkish Air Force and other security institutions — was launched by the Defense Industry Executive Committee in June 2010.

In 2013, TAI and the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defense Industries signed a contract for the production of T625 helicopters.

According to the producer, the helicopter will serve multiple services including cargo, VIP transportation, ambulance, and off-shore search and rescue operations.

It has a capacity of carrying 14 passengers including two pilots at a time.

“The aircraft incorporates several new technology features to provide the highest levels of safety and operational benefits for operators,” according to TAI.

The helicopter is designed for both domestic and international markets.

The program is progressing on schedule to complete its first flight later this year and begin serial production after 2021.

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