Turkey’s Hurkus Debuts at Paris Air Show


One of TAI two Hurkus aircraft making their Paris debuts.

Turkish Aerospace Industries is making its presence felt this year, with a static display of its fixed and rotary-wing products and the international flying display debut of the company’s Hurkus turboprop trainer.

The company has sent both prototypes of the Hurkus-A aircraft to Le Bourget as it begins an international sales drive competing against Pilatus’s PC-21, the Korea Aerospace Industries KT-1 Woong-bi and Beechcraft T-6 Texan II.

The Hurkus is named after Turkish pilot and engineer Vecihi Hurkuş and is the first Turkish indigenous fixed-wing manned aircraft to go into production.

Test pilot Murat Keles, a former Turkish Air Force F-16 pilot and founder of the Soloturk F-16 demonstration team, is putting the second prototype Hurkus—painted in its distinctive black, white and yellow scheme—through its paces in the Le Bourget skies, while the first prototype, painted up to act as a demonstrator for a light-attack version of the aircraft, is featured in the static display.

The Hurkus-A is the basic version of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68T-powered 8,046-lb. (3,650-kg.) gross-weight trainer, which received European Aviation Safety Agency certification last July.

TAI is now building the Hurkus-B, an advanced trainer version kitted out with an Aselsan-developed avionics suite, which will be used for Turkish Air Force training. The avionics suite features simulated systems that will allow the air force to download some of its advanced training tasks from the more costly T-38M Talon.

Some 15 Hurkus-Bs are on order, but the air force has options for 40 more. The first examples are in an advanced state of assembly at TAI’s plant in Ankara.

The first Hurkus-B is due to fly at the end of the year.

Work on the light-attack version is also advanced. In April, the first prototype Hurkus modified with wing pylons and fitted with an under-fuselage electro-optical camera carried out a successful test firing of a Roketsan Laser-UMTAS (L-UMTAS)/Mizrak laser-guided missile in Konya. These tests, witnessed by senior Turkish officials, led to the signing in May at the IDEF defense show in Istanbul of a letter of intent to purchase up to 24 light attack versions, to be called Hurkus-C.

Contract signature is expected in the coming months, with the aircraft to be used by Turkish Land Forces as an adjunct to the T129 ATAK attack helicopter. Both the T129 and the Hurkus-C will use the same weaponry.

TAI ferried the Hurkuses to Le Bourget via Serbia, Croatia, into Germany, and then into Paris.

Keles’s demonstration will last 8 min. and will feature a series of loops, a Cuban 8, split-S and inverted flight, he told ShowNews. During the demonstration, he will experience G-loads ranging from +6.5 to -2g. 

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