HISTORY OF TURKISH AERONAUTICAL ASSOCIATION


The Turkish Aeronautical Association ( THK ) was founded by the directive of Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk , in February 16th , 1925 , 16 months after the proclamation of the Turkish Republic , under the name of ‘Türk Tayyare Cemiyeti’ ( Turkish Aeroplane Society ).

The aim of the Society was to increase awareness in Turkey on the military , economic, social and political importance of aviation , to support the development of military, civil, sporting and touring aviation in Turkey , to prepare all the necessary material and equipment for these activities , to train the personnel and finally create a ‘FLYING TURKISH YOUTH’.

THK, has founded the ‘Tayyare Makinist Mektebi’ ( Aeroplane Engineer School ) in April 23th 1926 , in order to train the technical personnel that Turkish aviation requires. In the same year, with the cooperation of German Junkers ,‘Kayseri Uçak Fabrikası’ ( Kayseri Aeroplane Factory ) was established. THK had manufactured A-19 and A-20 aeroplanes with the German Junkers license and held the maintenance and repair. Kayseri Aeroplane Factory was handed over to the Ministry of National Defence in year 1929.

THK has come to life by an unbelievable , great moral and material support of the Turkish people, who were just out of a long Independence War , in an exhausted and poor condition with this great support THK had purchased 351 aeroplanes within the first 10 years and donated to the Turkish Armed Forces.

In the year of 1929 THK became a member of the Federation Aeronautical Internationale (FAI) , the international top organisation to promote and develop the air sports. Since then, THK has represented Turkey in a successful way, by means of air sports. İnternationally.

In 1931 , one of the Turkish pilots Vecihi Bey , succeeded in making a small tour around Turkey , departing from Ankara with an aeroplane that he had manufactured in his own workshop. In the year 1932, the prototype of the first national aircraft ( MMV-1 ) , all parts of which other than the engine and propeller was made in Turkey , had been manufactured by Selahattin Reşit Bey , one of the engineers who had Society’s scholarship for an education abroad , and his team. This success created a great enthusiasm all over the country.

In 1935 , General Assembly of Turkish Aeroplane Society has changed its name as Turkish Aeronautical Association ( THK ) .

‘FUTURE IN THE SKIES’ of course this was not only a pair of nice words have been said by the enthusiasms of those years , but also a goal for the Turkish Republic . For this goal , Türkkuşu was founded in May 3th ,1935 . Atatürk’s speeches , that he had delivered all around the country with a desire to awake Turkish youth’s love of aviation soon showed results, young people had started to join Türkkuşu in a running manner within a short time. TAA has trained many talented aviators , including Atatürk’s adopted daughter SABİHA GÖKÇEN, who was the first female fighter pilot of the world.

Parachuting , gliding , powered flight and model aeroplane schools have been founded , one after another. Several thousands of young people were brought together, by means of the facilities İnönü Gliding Camp ( establihed 1936 ) , Etimesgut Powered Flight Camp
( established 1937 ),parachute towers in Ankara and İzmir (established 1937 ). Aviation in Turkey has developed so fast in such a short time that one of the trainer pilots of Türkkuşu Ali Yıldız has established a world record in June 12th ,1938, with his 14 hours and 20 minutes glider flying. Another Turkish pilot Ziya Aydoğan , Flew from İnönü training centre to Kayseri with his glider non-stop, a distance of 466 kms.

The gliders that were required for the glider trainings had been supplied by Association’s Akköprü Workshop. In this workshop , hundreds of gliders were manufactured , their maintenance and repair were held up until 1940. The Akköprü Workshop was transformed into a factory in the end of 1940 , where the serial montage of English Miles Magester training aeroplanes had started.

Before the Second Word War , between the years 1939 and 1941 , Etimesgut Aeroplane Factory was founded with the request of the General Staff. In this factory , which was an extensive initiative, production started in 1944. Besides Magister aeroplanes , THK - 1,3,4,7,9,13 gliders , and THK – 2, 5, and 10 types , traning , health and logistic airplanes were manufactured in this factory.

The first engine factory in Turkey , other than those small workshops initiated engine production tests , was founded in Gazi Orman Çiftliği by THK. This factory had continued its function until 1951, when it was handed over to ‘Makine ve Kimya Endüstri’ ( Machine and Chemistry Industry ) because of the conditions of this period. This factory is currently functioning as the Turkish Tractor Factory , and contributing Turkish economy with tractor production.

The young Turkish aviators who have been trained by THK since 1925 , attended not only in sporting activities but also in national defense. 1974 Cyprus Peace Operation was a live example for that . Young Turkish soldiers , who were trained by THK for parachuting before , attended the Air Launching Operation. In this Operation , THK’s pilots and airplanes were given important missions.

In 1980’s , THK had achieved important progress in sports aviation and after 1990 in international relations. With an active and effective policy at FAI general Assembly and Commission meetings, Turkey and THK were brought to the front . In 1996 , TAA put ‘Very Light Aircraft School’ into service , in addition to the existing schools of glider ,parachuting and modeling aircraft.

TAA has continued its progress on the course drawn by Atatürk , and will keep to do so .