Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) rolled out the first prototype of its indigenously produced T-625, a multi-role, medium-twin helicopter, this week. TAI hopes to make first flight before year-end, achieve initial production by 2021, and production with native-produced 1,370-shp TUSAS TS1400 engines by 2024. The Turkish engine will also be used in the new ATAK and ATAK-2 helicopters.
Civil certification process of the T-625 is ongoing with Turkish Directorate General of Civil Aviation and will be followed by EASA certification. Work on the T-625 began in 2010.
The 13,300-pound mtow T-625, which can carry 14 passengers and two crew, is expected to cruise at 150 knots, fly up to 400 nm, and have a service ceiling of 20,000 feet. Initial power will come from a pair of 1,373-shp LHTEC CTS800 engines, and the helicopter will feature an Aselsan touchscreen glass cockpit with four-axis autopilot. TAI designed the transmission, rotor systems, landing gear, and aerostructures on the T-625. The main gearbox has a 30-minute run-dry capability, and the rotor system consists of a five-blade main and four-blade tail rotors that are fully articulated with elastomeric bearings.
While the T-625 is the first indigenous-design helicopter for TAI, it is not the first helicopter the company has produced. It also builds the T-129 gunship in cooperation with Leonardo and the T-70, the Turkish version of the Sikorsky S-70i. It also makes substantial subassemblies and components for a variety of other new-build models for helicopter OEMs, including Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo, MD Helicopters, and Sikorsky, as well as providing modernization, modification, and retrofits for helicopters.