General Manager of TEI, which produces engines for vehicles that Turkey needs in the defense industry, including general purpose helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), in Eskişehir facilities. Dr. Mahmut Akşit said that the TEI-TS1400 engine has completed all the maturation tests before the first manned flight with Gökbey.
Stating that the first 2 engines prepared for the first manned flight of the helicopter will be delivered at the end of the month, Akşit said, “Last year, we announced that we had increased the engine power up to 1572 horsepower. Of course, ripening tests continued at full speed. As of the moment we arrived, we completed all the tests requested by TAI before the manned flight.
There is also a flight safety inspection committee on the TAI side, we are waiting for its approval. We are waiting for the board to meet at the end of this month and the approval will come if it is possible. Hopefully, in the next few months, we hope to see our Gökbey helicopter in the sky with our own engine, completely domestically and nationally.”
“We already had the infrastructure”
Stating that the TEI-TS1400 engine, which will power the Gökbey general purpose helicopter, has been subjected to maturation tests with domestic and national resources. Dr. Akşit said, “When we started the project as the infrastructure of TEI, we already had a huge infrastructure to test engines up to 100 thousand pounds of thrust, but it was more limited in helicopter engines. We had one engine test area (bremze), we added 5 more.
Only one of them is imported. We developed and made all the others ourselves. We are currently doing our engine development and maturation tests in these new national bremzes. In other words, we are sure of everything about the data we receive,” he said.
National Combat Aircraft left the hangar
The National Combat Aircraft, which is the most important technology development project of Turkey and carried out by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAŞ), left the hangar with the engine running.
The National Combat Aircraft is expected to replace the F-16 aircraft, which are in the inventory of the Air Force Command and are planned to be phased out as of the 2030s.
Explaining that a team was formed at TEI so that the National Combat Aircraft could fly with a domestic and national engine, TEI General Manager Prof. Dr. Akşit said that only the number of engineers increased to 300.
Noting that together with the prototype, manufacturing engineers, test and quality group, they have a personnel power of more than a thousand for the engine of the National Combat Aircraft, Akşit said:
“The results of the tender opened by our Presidency of Industry about a year ago have not been announced yet, but we, as TEI, are one of the biggest and strongest teams in these engines. We started working with TR Engine company. Currently, the number of engineers working for the engine of the National Combat Aircraft is between 200-300. We also have a prototype team, manufacturing engineers, test group, quality group.
If you consider the support they give, we actually have a serious staff strength of more than a thousand and it is growing rapidly. We made our way to the champions league by building our first turbine jet engine and delivering its prototype. We will have registered this with the first flight. We will now prove that we are in the champions league, and that Turkey is one of the 4-5 countries in the world that now has this difficult technology through TEI, and we will show it to the world.”
“Like autumn, our first engine will be finished”
Expressing that their biggest goal this year is to fly the Gökbey helicopter with its own engine, Akşit continued as follows:
“We will have long tests on certification. These are the final tests that TAI requested from us before the flight. There’s also a long certification process with the tool to make sure it’s completely safe after that. Our second major goal is to run the first prototype of our TEI-TF6000 engine in 2023. There are minor delays, but our target for this year remains. Hopefully, like autumn, our first engine will be finished.
As TEI, we have made good progress in the last 10 years, especially in these aviation engines that our state needs. We have established a beautiful engineering team, which is now expressed in thousands, and we have trained our own youth. Now, I think that we have brought this technology to our country permanently as TEI.
Our first priority is to meet national needs. Our state needs a lot, so when the helicopter engine is finished, there is a national combat aircraft. HÜRJET’s engine is imported, HÜRKUŞ’s engine is imported, our ships have engines.
Of course, if we can supply and install these, there is no problem, but it is our biggest goal that the defense systems we have gradually developed over time will now fly, work and swim with the national engines we will develop here.”