SOURCE: Flight International
PICTURE: First flight for TAI-built T129 attack helicopter
By Tolga Ozbek
The first T129B attack helicopter to be manufactured by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) made its flight debut from the company's Akinci-Ankara site on 17 August.
Prototype aircraft P6 took off at 05:30 local time and touched down again at 07:00, TAI said.
Company test pilots Adnan Meral and Gokhan Korkmazturk described the sortie as successful, and said all main systems had been assessed.
P6 made its debut carrying a nose-mounted Aselsan AselFLIR-300T targeting system and a mock-up of a 20mm cannon.
© Turkish Aerospace Industries
The T129B prototype aircraft P6 took off at 05:30 local time and touched down again at 07:00
TAI, which had previously planned to conduct the first flight event in May, will deliver its first production-standard T129B in July 2013, following the completion of development tests involving six aircraft in Italy and Turkey.
The company will also deliver an early batch of nine T129As in mid-2012, to replace some of the army's Bell Helicopter AH-1 Cobras. These should later be upgraded to T129B standard.