The first supersonic aircraft designed and built in Turkey, the prototype Hürjet, from Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), performed its maiden flight on Tuesday, April 25.
The aircraft took off from Mürted air base, on the outskirts of Ankara, where TAI’s facilities are located, and landed after a sortie that lasted about 20 minutes.
The company reported that the jet reached 463 km/h and 14,000 feet (4,267 meters) altitude in its first flight test. As is common in initial trials with new aircraft, the TAI model flew without retracting the landing gear.
The Hürjet is the first manned jet aircraft developed in Turkey, a country that has been gaining notoriety in the production of drones.
Aircraft carrier operations
The project was launched by TAI in August 2017 with the aim of replacing the old Northrop T-38 Talon training jets of the Turkish Air Force, as well as creating a successor to the F-5 used by the country’s aerobatic squadron.
Measuring 13 meters in length by 9.8 meters in wingspan, the two-seat Hürjet is powered by a General Electric F404 series afterburner turbofan engine capable of generating 17,000 pounds. According to TAI, the plane is designed to fly at a maximum speed of Mach 1.4 (1,728 km/h) and has a range of 2,222 km.
TAI claims that it is working to complete and certify the Hürjet by 2025. The company also revealed that after that period it will have the capacity to produce two jets of the type per month. In addition to attack and training versions, the Turkish aircraft is also designed for carrier operations.
Turkey’s armed forces have already expressed interest in ordering the Hürjet, although they have not yet finalized purchase agreements with TAI.