Turkey's ambitions in the realm of aeronautics continue to grow with the inclusion of its first-ever indigenous medium-lift helicopter product by Turkish Aerospace Industries - the "T625". The type is being developed as a direct competitor, in an already crowded market, to existing foreign models such as the French Airbus AW139 and American Sikorsky Model S-76 lines. The Turkish military stands to gain the most from its development for it fields an aging fleet of Bell UH-1 Huey helicopters for the medium-lift role. Beyond its obvious military value, the T625 will also be offered for civilian market roles to include VIP transport, oil/gas industry transport, Search and Rescue (SAR) and other roles typically slated for medium-class helicopters.
The T625 was born in a 2013 government-sponsored initiative for a multi-role helicopter platform.
The aircraft will be given a traditional layout with lines not unlike the helicopters already offered from competitor Airbus. A short, rounded nosecone will make up the frontal section which will feature heavy glazing for maximum vision out-of-the-cockpit for pilots. Aft of the cockpit will be the passenger cabin with sliding entry-exit doors. Above the cabin will be the installation of the twin turboshaft engine arrangement. This will power a five-bladed main rotor unit above the fuselage. A drive shaft will connect this powerplant fit to a four-bladed tail rotor unit offset to the starboard side of the tail fin. At the tail will also be the horizontal stabilizer which will be capped at its ends by winglets. The undercarriage is set to be of a tricycle arrangement and complete retractable. Internally, the aircraft will hold a configurable cabin with seating for up to twelve occupants.
In terms of power, it is hoped that local Turkish industry will be able to deliver a homegrown turboshaft engine to field in the T625. Officially the helicopter is outfitted with the Rolls-Royce / Honeywell LHTEC CTS800 engine series of 1,373 horsepower but the export potential of this engine is limited by United States control. This same engine family powers the new TAI T129 ATAK Turkish attack helicopter product. Estimated performance specs for the T625 include a cruising speed of around 172 miles per hour. Range is expected to reach at least 775 miles with a service ceiling nearing 20,000 feet.
A first-flight is tentatively scheduled for September of 2018. The developmental program will involve three flyable prototypes. Certification is planned for 2020. A four-seat training variant is also said to be in the works.
November 2017 - The T-625 was displayed (in mock-up form) at the Dubai Air Show.
February 2018 - The T-625 is on pace to enter market service sometime in 2020.
August 2018 - An incomplete prototype form of the T-625 medium-lift helicopter was unveiled on August 19th, 2018.
September 2018 - On September 6th, 2018, the T-625 prototype completed a short, 20-minute "hop" during early testing.
May 2019 - The prototype T-625 helicopter is under preparations to undertake its first official flight sometime in 2019.
May 2019 - Certification for the T-625 is currently scheduled for sometime in December 2019.
June 2019 - The T625 is a showpiece of TAI during Paris Air Show 2019.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
✓Special-Mission: Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Equipped to search, track, and engage enemy underwater elements by way of specialized onboard equipment and weapons.
✓Special-Mission: MEDical EVACuation (MEDEVAC)
Extraction of wounded combat or civilian elements by way of specialized onboard equipment and available internal volume or external carrying capability.
✓Special-Mission: Search & Rescue (SAR)
Ability to locate and extract personnel from areas of potential harm or peril (i.e. downed airmen in the sea).
General transport functionality to move supplies/cargo or personnel (including wounded and VIP) over range.
Used in roles serving the commercial aviation market, ferrying both passengers and goods over range.
Used in the Very-Important-Person (VIP) passenger transport role, typically with above-average amenities and luxuries as standard.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Serving Special Forces / Special Operations elements and missions.
54.6 ft (16.65 m)
45.3 ft (13.80 m)
16.3 ft (4.98 m)
7,716 lb (3,500 kg)
13,669 lb (6,200 kg)
+5,952 lb (+2,700 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the TAI T-625 production variant)
2 x LHTEC CTS800 turboshaft engines developing 1,373 horsepower driving a five-bladed main rotor and four-bladed tail rotor.
T-625 - Base Series Designation
P0 - Initial test aircraft; prototype.
P1 - Follow-up test aircraft (all-up prototype); to support commercial certification phase.
P2 - Third prototype.
P3 - Possible forth prototype for accelerated development.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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