Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) expects to fly the ZIU agricultural aircraft this month, around six months later than originally planned.

Delays caused by supplier problems "have been resolved", says TAI managing director Kaya Ergenc. Tests of the 447kW (600hp) OE600 Oranda eight-cylinder turbocharged piston engine are to begin "very soon", he adds. If flight tests are successful "we will prepare a second aircraft, which will be more commercialised".


The ZIU programme was started in 1997 and is aimed partly at a Turkish requirement for agricultural aircraft to operate in its Southeast Anatolian Project, which could see a need for up to 100 aircraft. Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria and Pakistan are involved in the programme, having given design leadership to TAI, and have been "monitoring it closely" says Ergenc. He admits that tougher environmental restrictions in some of the eight countries "may reduce the size of the market".

The all-metal ZIU has easily removable wings, a twisted wingtip for improved spraying efficiency, a 1,500 litre (395USgal) hopper and wire cutter and wire reflector. The aircraft has an endurance of 4h and a stall speed of 56kt (105km/h) at its maximum take-off weight of 3,500kg (7,700lb).

Source: Flight International