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TAI Hurkus

Basic Trainer / Counter-Insurgency Attack Aircraft

Turkiye | 2018

"The TAI Hurkus basic trainer and light attack platform began in a 2006 initiative between TAI and the Turkish government."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/23/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Continuing their attempts to become a more self-sufficient world military power through a growing military-industrial complex, the nation of Turkey welcomes its new, indigenously designed and developed, TAI "Hurkus" to serve as primary and basic trainer for the Turkish Air Force. The aircraft originated from an Air Force requirement for fifteen such platforms to which a development contract was given to Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) in December of 2006. In April of 2009, the final design was accepted and a prototype went airborne for the first time on August 29th, 2013 - setting the stage for what should be a follow-up procurement phase. The name "Hurkus" is taken from Turkish aviation engineer Vecihi Hurkus (1895-1969), the country's first civilian pilot and a World War 1 (1914-1918) veteran. As of November 2013, the Hurkus is represented by two completed prototype samples which are being used in ongoing testing.

In overall scope, the aircraft will be similar to the American Beechcraft T-6 "Texan II", the Brazilian Embraer EMB 314 "Super Tucano" and the Swiss Pilatus PC-21 series - all competing in the basic trainer/light strike market. The Hurkus will replace the aged fleet of Turkish Air Force T-37 "Tweet" trainers, two-seat, turbojet-powered aircraft brought about in the 1950s. The Air Force has a stock of approximately 65 such aircraft.

Design of the Hurkus is largely conventional with a slim, aerodynamic fuselage tied to low-mounted, forward-set straight monoplane wing appendages. The engine is housed in a forward compartment in the usual way while the empennage utilizes a single vertical tail fin with a pair of low-mounted horizontal planes. All wing surfaces feature clipped tips. The fuselage sports seated for a crew of two under a large, clear canopy shell offering excellent elevated views around the aircraft from both positions. The cockpit includes all-modern avionics and controls to serve as a proper stepping stone for graduation to more advanced flight systems. The aircraft makes use of Martin-Baker Mk T-60 N "Zero-Zero" ejection seats for both crew.

The Hurkus relies on a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68T series turboprop engine delivering 1,600 horsepower to a five-blade aluminum propeller by Hartzell. The combination of airframe design/configuration and powerplant are expected to provide the Hurkus with a maximum speed of 360 miles per hour, a cruising speed nearing 290 miles per hour, a range out to 920 miles and an operating service ceiling of 34,700 feet. Rate-of-climb is 4,300 feet per minute.

TAI is set to deliver the Hurkus in two, possibly three, distinct production forms - Hurkus-A, Hurkus-B and Hurkus-C. Hurkus-A will be the basic civilian airspace variant designed around European Aviation Safety Agency certification. The Hurkus-B will be of a more advanced trainer form featuring HUD (Head-Up Display), a mission computer and weapons-simulating Multi-Function Displays (6"x8" MFDs) at each cockpit. A third, more military-minded, variant is being proposed as the "Hurkus-C". This model would feature support for light armament (gun pods, cannons, bombs, rockets, missiles) to fulfill the light attack/strike/Close-Air Support (CAS) role.

The Hurkus project has not been without its delays. The initial prototype's flight was scheduled for sometime in 2009 and initial deliveries would have followed in 2011. However, the aircraft was not formally displayed until June 2012 and its initial flight did not occur until August of 2013.

It is conceivable that the Hurkus will be offered to interested foreign parties for purchase at some point. it will most certainly serve Turkish aerospace engineering well as a starting point for more advanced indigenous aircraft designs.

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July 2016 - The Hurkus aircraft has received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval. This marked the Hurkus as the first indigenous aircraft to receive certification.

January 2017 - First-flight for the Hurkus-B model is scheduled for December 2017. First deliveries to the Turkish Air Force are expected around the middle of 2018. An an initial batch of fifteen aircraft is sought with the possibility of forty more to be added.

June 2017 - The TAI Hurkus has made its public debut at Le Bourget during the 2017 Paris Air Show.

November 2017 - Hurkus was showcased at the Dubai Air Show to prospective customers.

January 2018 - The first Hurkus-B (production-quality) model has gone into the air for its initial flight.

June 2018 - Delivery of a batch of fifteen Hurkus basic trainers is set to begin to the Turkish Air Force with deliveries commencing the following year.

October 2018 - October 1st, 2018 saw the first delivery of a Hurkus-B trainer to the Turkish Air Force.

June 2019 - Among other TAI products, the Hurkus Advanced Trainer has been showcased at Paris Air Show 2019.

February 2022 - TAI has certified the Hurkus HYEU Forward Air Controller trainer variant of its Hurkus aircraft line.

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the TAI Hurkus Basic Trainer / Counter-Insurgency Attack Aircraft.
1 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68T turboprop engine developing 1,600 horsepower driving five-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
357 mph
574 kph | 310 kts
Max Speed
34,646 ft
10,560 m | 7 miles
Service Ceiling
920 miles
1,480 km | 799 nm
Operational Range
4,300 ft/min
1,311 m/min
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the TAI Hurkus Basic Trainer / Counter-Insurgency Attack Aircraft.
36.6 ft
11.17 m
O/A Length
32.7 ft
(9.96 m)
O/A Width
12.1 ft
(3.70 m)
O/A Height
8,047 lb
(3,650 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the TAI Hurkus Basic Trainer / Counter-Insurgency Attack Aircraft provided across 4 hardpoints.
VARIABLE (if armed):
12.7mm heavy machine gun pods; 20mm cannon pods; 2.75" multi-shot rocket pods; air-to-surface missiles; conventional drop bombs.

Hardpoints Key:

Not Used
Notable series variants as part of the TAI Hurkus family line.
Hurkus - Base Series Designation
Hurkus-A - Basic civilian-minded aircraft
Hurkus-B - Basic trainer with HUD, mission computer, weapons simulation-capable MFDs; enhanced Aselsan avionics suite.
Hurkus-C - Proposed armed military light strike platform; support for light munitions.
Hurkus HYEU - Air-Ground Integration Support variant for Forward Air Control training; type certified in February 2022.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the TAI Hurkus. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 4 Units

Contractor(s): Turkish Aerospace Industries - Turkey / Pilatus Aircraft Limited - Switzerland
National flag of Turkey

[ Turkey ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (357mph).

Graph Average of 300 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
1 / 1
Image of the TAI Hurkus
Image from official Turkish Aerospace Industries marketing materials.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The TAI Hurkus Basic Trainer / Counter-Insurgency Attack Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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