Turkey's domestic aviation engine ready for mass production
Turkey's first domestically developed aviation engine, produced by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), is now ready for mass production, with an inaugural ceremony held Wednesday to mark the occasion.
The PD170 Operational UAV Motor was developed under the scope of a joint project launched in 2012 by the TAI's Engine Industries and Defense Industries Presidency (SSB).
The 170 hp reciprocating turbo diesel aviation engine aims to meet the power requirements of the ANKA – an unmanned aerial vehicle developed and manufactured by TAI – together with the MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) unmanned aerial vehicle.
A prototype of the domestic engine was unveiled in 2017 and was first used in a series of test flights for the ANKA conducted in the following year.
Speaking at the ceremony, SSB President İsmail Demir noted that the first domestic helicopter engine, the TS1400, had also successfully passed its first official tests.
Meanwhile, domestically developed flight parts, including dynamic components and landing gears developed in line with Turkey's T70 general-purpose helicopter production program, aimed to be ready and delivered to the TAI on Wednesday, with the ceremony held to celebrate the completion of the project.
The aircraft components were produced by Alp Aviation Helicopter Business Center, based in central Turkey's Eskişehir.
Demir said that the program outlined the production of 109 general-purpose helicopters working in two different configurations to accommodate the demands of six separate buyers.
Demir highlighted that thanks to the program, the rate of entirely Turkish-made components in the Turkish defense industry had now reached 63%.
Helicopter cockpits and cabins are now being produced by TAI, avionic suites are being produced by Turkey's leading defense contractor ASELSAN and engines are being produced by TAI's Engine Industries.
Demir noted that Eskişehir has become an important hub for the aviation industry, stating that Turkey has moved up a new level in aviation production.
Furthermore, he added, the domestically produced helicopter Gökbey has already successfully conducted its maiden flight.
TAI Chairman Oğuz Borat said that the products they received were essential for the company's aerial platforms.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Alp Aviation Chairman Tuncer Alpata noted that the company had reached the place they wanted to be as of today.
"Alp Aviation has become a company that makes the whole system production from detailed pieces to the final tests," he asserted.