Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) plans to begin flight testing its single-engined agricultural and firefighting aircraft in September.

"The design phase should be completed shortly and then we will start building the first prototype," says TAI marketing director Yilmaz Guldogan.

The single-seat aircraft, yet to be named, will be the first to be designed and manufactured by the Ankara-based company. Guldogan says that TAI will initially concentrate its sales efforts on the domestic and Eastern nations.

"Turkey forms part of the 'D8' organisation which has been established by eight Islamic nations, including Malaysia and Pakistan, to promote trade and co-operation between our countries, so there will be a number of sales in this region," Guldogan says.

The Turkish company, which also plans to offer a two-seat variant of the low-wing monoplane, has signed Canada's Orenda Recip to supply and install its OE-600 V-8 piston powerplant. First deliveries are due in mid-1999. "We shall build two prototypes - the second will be used for certification," says Guldogan.

TAI has scheduled certification and first deliveries for 2000.

Source: Flight International