Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has rolled out its first manned aircraft design in Ankara, with the Hurkus trainer expected to make its flight debut in April 2013.

 Hurkus B - Tolga Ozbek

Tolga Ozbek

Launched in 2006 and supported by 27 Turkish companies, the $150 million Hurkus programme covers the manufacture of four prototypes - two flight-test examples and two aircraft for static testing.

TAI has worked on the design of three variants so far, including a civilian-targeted Hurkus A, a B-model military trainer and a C-variant close air support design.

Powered by a 1,600hp (1,180kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6 turboprop engine, the Hurkus is expected to reach a maximum cruise speed of 310kt (570km/h) and be capable of manoeuvring from +7g to -3.5g. Service ceiling will be 34,700ft (10,600m) and the Hurkus have a maximum endurance 4h and 15min.

TAI expects to secure certification for the Hurkus from the European Aviation Safety Agency by the end of 2015, following a flight test programme lasting 18-24 months.

A first production order could come from the Turkish air force, potentially in place of an option for 15 more locally-assembled Korea Aerospace Industries KT-1s.

The Turkish army has expressed interest in the Hurkus C to provide support for its attack helicopters.

The close air support version (below) will have a maximum weapons load of 3,300lb (1,500kg) and also carry a forward looking infrared (FLIR) sensor. As the Hurkus will capable of operating from unprepared runways, it could also attract export orders, TAI believes.

 Hurkus C - Turkish Aerospace Industries

Turkish Aerospace Industries

TAI plans to offer another version of the Hurkus to support the Turkish coast guard's maritime patrol activities. The aircraft's back seat would be occupied by an operator for a FLIR sensor.

Source: Flight International