ISTANBUL --- Turkish Aerospace (TUSAS) is preparing to fly the first prototype of its T625 twin-engine medium helicopter in the next 5-6 weeks, company officials have said.
Although the company declared a first flight of the rotorcraft last September, this was performed using an aircraft known as P0, essentially a ground test vehicle extensively modified to be able to perform the first hop five years to the day after the contract to develop the aircraft was signed in 2013. The aircraft was christened last December with the name Gokbey, which has several translations, including Mr, Sky and Skymaster.
The configuration of P0 during the first flight was notable as the aircraft lacked doors and panels covering the structure and engine compartment. It also lacked automatic flight control and stability augmentation systems, rotary-wing test pilot Gokhan Virhan told Aerospace DAILY at the IDEF defense exhibition here April 30.
“The aircraft was very stable. It met all our expectations,” he said.
Since that single flight, P0 has been returned to its ground test rig role, supporting testing of the aircraft’s specially developed transmission. The gearbox had been developed in conjunction with Germany’s ZF, but is now being produced in-house, with the third Turkish Aerospace-assembled transmission being used in the first prototype. (end of excerpt)
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