The T625 medium-lift multirole helicopter developed indigenously by Turkey made its maiden flight on 6 September, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) announced.
The twin-engined helicopter flew for 20 minutes at TAI’s Ankara facility in the Turkish capital, during which an initial assessment of the general flight characteristics, transmission, and rotor systems was carried out.
As noted by TAI, the T625 has been designed for domestic and international military, paramilitary, and civilian purposes in hot-and-high environments, and is equipped to carry 12 passengers. Development under the Turkish Light Utility Helicopter (TLUH) programme began in 2010, with TAI and the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) signing an initial contract in June 2013. Initially named Özgün (Original), the T625 designation was revealed in December 2016, and denotes a 6 tonne maximum take-off weight, two engines, and five main rotor blades.
Key design features include a five-bladed main rotor and a four-bladed tail rotor to minimise vibration and noise, as well as a 30-minute ‘run-dry’ capability for the gear box. Aselsan are providing the avionics for the cockpit, which features two wide touchscreens (8×20 inches) and two smaller touch screens (8×10 inches).
Powered by twin LHTEC (a Rolls-Royce & Honeywell partnership) CTS800 turboshaft engines, the T625 features a 4-axis dual redundant automatic flight-control system, and all critical systems such as the transmission, rotors, landing gear, and aerostructures have been designed by TAI.
Performance specifications listed in Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft: Development & Production give the T625 a service ceiling of 20,000 ft, a maximum speed of 165 kt, a range of 740 km (948 km with auxiliary fuel), and an endurance of 3 hours 50 minutes.
The civil certification process of the helicopter is ongoing with the Turkish Directorate General of Civil Aviation, after which European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) certification will follow.
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