The origins of aircraft production in Turkey can be retraced into the year 1912. In this year the first maintenance center of the Turkish Air Force was opened at the airfield in
YesilkÃ¶y/Istanbul. During the World War I further maintenance centers were opened in Baghdad, Damascus, Izmir and Konya. They were organized by the 9th Department of Aviation (9. Hava Isleri Subesi), established on 15.02.1915. The major task of these centers was naturally the maintenance of the airplanes of the Air Force. That was not always simple. During the war the supply with spare parts come often to a standstill. Sometimes the technicians could solve the problem by manufacturing
the urgently needed parts themselves. In 1917 a ânew airplaneâ, called Baghdad 1, could build at the Baghdad center by using sections of an Albatros C III a/c and from captured aircraft parts. The experiences of the World War I and the following War of Independence made clear that a national aircraft production had to be established as soon as possible.
In the meantime some modifications were carried out on available airplanes at the Gaziemir / Izmir Air Force Base. At first, in late 1922, two captured Airco D.H.9 bomber aircraft were converted into dual-control training airplanes. Two years later, in 1924, the unreliable original engines of four SAML B.1 Aviatik training airplanes were replaced with more reliable Mercedes engines of World War I.
But the Turkish aircraft production actually truly began after the
establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923. At the end of that year a small delegation was sent to Europe in order to procure aircraft for the new Turkish Air Force. At the end of the final evaluation the responsible persons decided to procure 16 BrÃ©guet XIV A2, 39 Caudron C-27 and 32 Caudron C-59 aircraft. Starting from 1924 these aircraft were supplied in crates and assembled on the Gaziemir/Izmir Air Force Base under French supervision. After the Turkish Air Force
completed their production duties, this armed force withdrew itself from the assembly of the aircraft and was limited to its actual functions. However this situation was only temporary. During the course of technical development, the aircraft became even more technically complicated, and the maintenance also became more complex. Finally the maintenance centers of this armed force were entrusted again with spare part production, assembly or modernization of aircraft. So arose the 1st Air
Supply and Maintenance Center (1. Hava Ikmal ve Bakim Merkezi, 1.HIBM) in Eskisehir (1926), the 901st Aircraft Main Depot and Factory Command (the 901.Hava Araci Ana Depo ve Fabrika Komutanligi, 901. HAADFK) in Polatli (1948, starting from 1962 in Ankara) and 2nd Air Supply and Maintenance Center (2. Hava Ikmal ve Bakim Merkezi, 2.HIBM) in Kayseri (1950).
In 1978 the 2.HIBM developed the agricultural aircraft Mavi Isik 78-XA-1 (TC-TXA). The first flight was
successfully made in February 1979 in Kayseri. In the following years the subsequent samples Mavi Isik-B and the Mavi Isik-G-1 were developed from the prototype. Unfortunately, it did not meet the desired requirements of series production. Instead Turkey bought once again generously abroad. Among other purchases abroad, the Polish agricultural and firefighting aircraft Pezetel M-18A Dromader was bought.
During the period 08.02.1914 - 15.05.1914 four Turkish pilots carried out the 2500 km global long distance flight Istanbul-Damascus-Jerusalem-Cairo-Alexandria. For historical documentation, the Turkish State Television TRT decided to film this partially tragic, but in the end very successful flight. The 2.HIBM built, in 2001, several modified but airworthy reproductions of the original BlÃ©riot XI
aircraft used during those times. Because of the very vague resemblance to the original BlÃ©riot XI aircraft, there were some disagreements. With two BlÃ©riot AK-2000X aircraft the same distance of 1914 was flown in the period 15.05.2001-18.06.2001.