The second prototype T625 Gökbey makes its maiden flight on June 29, 2019. (Turkish Aerospace)
The second prototype of Turkish Aerospace Industries’ T625 Gökbey made its 45-minute maiden flight on June 29, passing the first domestic certification challenge presented by Turkey’s General Directorate of Civil Aviation.
The twin-engine T625, designed as a general utility helicopter for civil and military use, is powered by 1,370shp CTS800 engines from Rolls-Royce/Honeywell joint venture LHTEC and can carry 12 passengers. TAI said in 2017 it developed the T625 “in response to the growing market demand for higher mission flexibility in this class,” as well as to meet the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces.
Ismail Demir, former Turkish undersecretary for defense industry, took to Twitter:
"GÖKBEY helicopter, which was developed domestically and nationally by TUSAŞ, carried out its first certification flight with the permission of the General Directorate of Civil Aviation. The flight lasted 45 minutes and a significant phase was passed in the project. I congratulate everyone who contributed," Demir's comments read, translated by Microsoft into English.
The first prototype of the Gökbey, which can be translated as “Mr. Sky” or “Skymaster,” took flight in September 2018 after being unveiled at the 2017 Paris Air Show. It was developed and produced domestically and, after completing its certification process, is expected to begin mass production in 2021. Gökbey’s missions will include transportation, VIP, cargo, air ambulance, search and rescue and offshore transit.