In a move that has already been doing the rounds for quite some time, Turkey has donated no less than 34 Cessna T-37 jet trainers to Pakistan free of charge. The ‘deal’ was signed on Wednesday 28 October in Ankara, according to a statement issued by the Turkish ministry of Defense.
The Turkish gesture included spare parts as well. Turkey has operated the T-37 as its main basic jet trainer for many years, with a total of 67 aircraft in the fleet. The Korean developed but locally built KT-1 trainer replaced the type. The new Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) Hürkuş trainer is supposed to augment the KT-1 starting 2018.
Peru on Tuesday 21 April introduced the first locally produced KT-1P turbo prop trainer aircraft into its air force. The aircraft is the first of 16 to be built by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Peruvian company Seman at Las Palmas airbase in the capital Lima.
The Fuerza Aérea del Perú already operates four KT-1s produced by KAI at its plant in Sacheon in South Korea. The order for a total of 20 aircraft was placed on 6 November 2012.
The KT-1 is now in service with South Korea, Indonesia, Turkey and Peru. Most of the 40 Turkish aircraft were license built by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).
Two KT-1B Wongbees of Indonesian Air Force team Jupiter collided on Sunday 15 March during a rehearsal for the LIMA 2015 airshow at Langkawi, Malaysia. At least two pilots were seen to eject using their parachutes. The airshow organizers report ‘four pilots’ are safe and under observation in Langkawi Hospital.
The crash happened as two aircraft collided during a cross over manoeuvre. One aircraft crashed in a wooded area, while the other one came down near houses, setting fire to one. No casualties are reported on the ground.
The Korea Aerospace Industries KT-1B Wongbee is a turboprop trainer aircraft in service in South Korea, Turkey and Indonesia. Peru has also ordered the type. The Indonesian Air Force took delivery of 17 aircraft, of which was one was already lost in a crash in 2010. Team Jupiter has been flying six KT-1s since 2008.
The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) will form a joint team to investigate the cause of the accident.
Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) announced on 21 May it started the production of the KT-1 Woongbi for the Peruvian Air Force. Sixteen of the 20 aircraft ordered, comprising of 10 KT-1s advanced turboprop trainers and 10 armed KA-1s light attack aircraft, will be put together locally in Peru. The first four aircraft were entirely produced in South Korea.
The KT-1 is a Pilatus PC-9 look-a-like, being able to fly up to 310 knots (574 kmh) over 828 miles (1,333 km) up to 38,000 feet. The type is already in use with the Republic of Korea Air Force, which operates 85 KT-1s and 20 KA-1s. The Turkish Air Force flies 40 of the KAI advanced trainers, while Indonesia operates sixteen KT-1Bs.
It took a while for the KT-1 to make its service debut in 2000. The first flight was already in 1991.