Turkey’s Gokbey helicopter flew for the first time with the indigenous TS1400 engine on April 22; the chopper will eventually replace American-made UH-1 currently in service with the country’s armed forces besides targeting the export market.
Head of Turkish Presidency of Defense Industry (SSB) Ismail Demir confirmed the flight in a tweet on April 23.
While the rotorcraft’s certification activities are still ongoing, three of the utility helicopters, whose mass production has begun, will be delivered to the Gendarmerie General Command this year.
The T625 GÖKBEY, Turkey’s first indigenous multirole helicopter, previously flew with the CTS-800A turboshaft engine supplied by Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company, a joint venture between Honeywell and Rolls-Royce. Turkey-made TS1400 produces 100-150 horsepower more than the U.S.-made engine.
The Gokbey can perform VIP cargo, air ambulance, search and rescue and offshore transportation missions. It comes fitted with a digital map and helicopter terrain awareness and warning system (HTWAS) software in the helicopter enables pilots to perform safe flights.
The helicopter was developed within the scope of the contract signed between the SSB and the Turkish Aerospace Industries.
With a total take-off weight of 6 tons, a capacity of 12 passengers and a maximum speed of over 300kmph, the multirole helicopter can stay in the air for up to five hours with its external fuel tank and reach a maximum range of nearly 950km.