Primary flight training is conducted at Izmir-Kaklic using the SIAI-Marchetti SF.260D trainer

Forty such aircraft were delivered to the THK, with a large number being produced locally by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) at Akinci

Turkey's 'new kid on the block'. This F-16D-52 Fighting Falcon had but a few hours on the airframe, completion having been speeded up so that it could attend the airshow at Cigli

Turkey currently has thirty Block 52s on order, with the airframes being completed at Turkish Aircraft Industries facility near Ankara

The aircraft was officially handed over in a ceremony on 23rd May 2011 and is distinguishable by the enlarged dorsal spine and conformal fuel tanks each side of the fuselage

The THK also prepared a General Dynamics F-16C Fighting Falcon especially for the 100th Anniversary
Billed as 'Solo Turk', it can be seen being put through its paces below and also at the top of the page taxying in after its display at Cigli on 3rd June

The RF-4E Phantom II is operated by 1 Wing at Eskisehir and by 7 Wing at Erhac

The aircraft above is from 113 Filo/1 Wing

As mentioned above, the T-37s replacement is the KT-1T WongBee turbo-prop trainer (above)

A number of these new aircraft were present at the show

Designed by Korean Aircraft Industries, the KT-1T above sports the Scorpion unit badge of 122 Filo on the tail

One of the latter arrivals was a pair of Jordanian Air Force F-16AM Fighting Falcons from 1 Squadron
Both were ex-Belgian Air Component aircraft, having been sold to Jordan in 2007

Participation from the Algerian Air Force was much anticipated, with rumours of all types of MiGs or Sukhois turning up
Sadly, but nonetheless still welcome, the only attendee was this C-130H Hercules from Boufarik

12 Wing at Erkilet provides the mainstay of the transport element for the THK, operating the Lockheed C-130B/E Hercules and the C-160D Transall (above)

The Transalls are operated by 221 Filo and #69-034 is seen taxying to the static area after arrival

Izmir-Cigli Air Base, Turkey, 3-6 June 2011

No less than four Antonov An-26s were present at Cigli

The Serbian one above being the most welcome amongst enthusiasts

#63-8231 is an upgraded T-38M aircraft and can be identified by the additional antenna on the dorsal spine and behind the front landing gear
The upgrade is being carried out by TAI at Akinci and includes a 'glass' multi-function colour display cockpit, hands on throttle & stick (HOTAS) controls, a head up display (HUD) and also new ejection seats

101 Filo Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker of the TuAF basks in glorious sunshine

The Home of Military Aircraft

This Cessna T-41D Mescalero is operated by the Air Warfare School (HVHO) at Yalova

Not every day you see a PakAF 'MiG- killer'

On 12th September 1988, Flt. Lt. Khalid Mehmood (14 Sqn) scrambled from Kamra Air Base at 0700hrs
 He was flying lead in F-16A #85728. He shot down a Soviet Mig-23MLD over Nawagai, while he was near inverted at 33,000 ft, his AIM-9L hitting the No.4 aircraft

History of the Turk Hava Kuvvetleri;

The Turkish Air Force can trace its history back to June 1909 when the Ottoman Empire's efforts in aviation began. The Ottoman flight squadrons participated in the Balkan Wars (1912–1913) and World War I (1914–1918). With the end of World War I and the occupation of the Ottoman Empire by the Allies in 1919, the Ottoman flight squadrons were reduced to nothing more than a department, with all personnel, including pilots, either relieved of duty or disbanded. The Ottoman pilots were thus left without planes and proper assistance and the period of Ottoman military aviation ended.

During the Turkish War of Independence, Turkish pilots joined the Konya Hava Istasyonu (Konya Air Station), and after the proclamation of independence and sovereignty with the Treaty of Lausanne, and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, approaches were made to form a modern Air Force. Originally consisting of three normal and one naval aviation unit and an Air Force Academy, the number of units was later increased to ten normal and three naval aviation units. In 1924 personnel were sent abroad for flight education and in 1925 the Air Force Academy was re-established at Eskişehir. On 1st July 1932 the Air Force became a separate combat arm and started training its own personnel; and by 1940 the Air Force had more than 500 combat aircraft in its inventory, making it the largest air force in the Balkans and Middle East. The growing inventory of the Air Force required another structural change, which was made in 1940 when the Air Force became a separate branch of the Turkish Armed Forces. In 1950 it was decided to upgrade the Air Force fleet through the inclusion of jet aircraft. Eight pilots were sent to the United States for pilot training, graduating in 1951, when they started training jet pilots in the Turkish Air Force. The 9th Fighter Wing (9 Ana Jet Üssü) was founded in Balıkesir as Turkey's first fighter wing; the 191st, 192nd, and 193rd squadrons being the first ones to be established. Upon Turkey's inclusion into NATO in 1952, it became part of the 6th Allied Tactical Air Force of the NATO Allied Air Forces of Europe. The process of modernization was also accelerated, with the TuAF receiving its first Republic F-84G jet aircraft at Balikesir Air Base. The capabilities of the Turkish Air Force gained new dimensions in the 1980s with the introduction of third generation aircraft into service such as the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, which provided a considerable increase in its fighter strength compared to the older F-5 Freedom Fighter and F-4 Phantom, the latter of which still serve in large numbers on the front-line. The flight training systems were also arranged according to the inventory structure and the Air Force has reached a training readiness level to meet the requirements of the Twenty-First Century. An air arm that once relied heavily on second-hand aircraft from other NATO air arms has moved forward considerably in recent years and is now a real power to be reckoned with.

The T-38 Talon above wearing the new colour scheme for the T-38 fleet
It was believed that this aircraft was the prototype T-38M aircraft, however clsoer inspection puts this in doubt as it is 'missing' many of the upgraded features of the T-38M variant

Also in attendance from the Pakistan Air Force were two F-16 'Vipers' in the shape of #85726 & #85728 from 11 Sqn based at Mushaf
11 Squadron is the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) for the type within the PakAF

The JF-17 back-tracks along the taxiway after its spirited display

This is the first time that a JF-17 has flown a demonstration anywhere in Europe
Three JF-17 aircraft attended Cigli, all from 26 Squadron based at Peshawar

JF-17 Thunder from 26 Squadron 'Black Spiders' of the Pakistan Air Force being put through its paces on 3rd June
The aircraft is powered by a Klimov RD-33 engine, as used in the Mikoyan Mig-29 and is being constructed in a joint venture with China

This CN.235-100 is from 125 Filo/2 AJU based at nearby Kaklic
Kakilc is a stones-throw from Cigli, so close in fact that an arriving C-130 Hercules from the Italian Air Force attempted to land there by mistake!
The CN.235 is used in a variety of roles by the THK, such as light transport, para-dropping, MEDEVAC and pilot training

This Northrop F-5B is one of the original F-5s delivered and is in service with 133 Filo/3 AJU

You would never believe it is nearly 40 years old

The THK operate a small number of helicopters, most in the Turkish military being in service with the Turkish Army
This Bell UH-1H Iroquois belongs to 125 Filo

'Solo Turk' in action, in the skies above Izmir

The Pilatus PC-9M is the BuAF's primary flight trainer, with six on strength at Dolna Mitropolija Air Base

The C-27J Spartan provided support for the BuAF contingent

This Austrian Air Force Saab 105OE was one of two that arrived on 3rd June for static display

Resplendant in its Tiger scheme from this year's NATO Tiger Meet at Cambrai, it is seen taxying to its parking slot after arrival

The other Turk Hava Kuvvetletri jet trainer currently in service is the Northrop T-38A Talon

These are also based at Izmir-Cigli with 2 AJU,with 121 Filo operating these aircraft

The units 'Bee' squadron badge clearly visible on the tail of the example above

​​Jetwash Aviation Photos


SF.260, #93-0825 on static display at Cigli

The Bulgarian Air Force provided much welcomed participation, with a Pilatus PC-9M, Alenia C-27J and a Mikoyan MiG.29UB
The MiG.29 from Graf Ignatievo Air Base (3 IAB) is seen arriving having just 'blown' its shoot to aid braking

Turkey's answer to the AWACS issue is the Boeing 737 'Wedgetail' (above)

Four such aircraft are on order and will eventually form 131 Filo at Konya Air Base as part of 3 AJU (Air Base Wing)

As expected a number of display teams attended the event at Cigli, including the USAF Thunderbirds (above)

Sadly for the enthusiasts, the Pakistan Air Force 'Sherdils' cancelled. Teams that did attend included the Turkish Stars, Red Arrows, Patrouille de France (below left), Frecce Tricolori, Team Iskra (below right), Wings of Storm (below centre), and the Patrulla Aguila

This Turkish Coast Guard Agusta-Bell AB-412EP made the short hop from its base at Izmir-Adnan Menderes Airport

111 Filo/1 AJU at Eskisehir provided the F-4E-2020 'Terminator' for the static park
54 F-4Es were upgraded to -2020 standard in a joint venture between Israeli Aircraft Industries and Turkish Aerospace Industries

The sole Turkish Army helicopter on display was this Bell AH-1P Huey Cobra

Turkish Air Force '100 Years'
Izmir-Cigli Airshow

The Turkish Air Force (Turk Hava Kuvvetleri) celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2011, having formed in June 1911 whilst still part of the Ottoman Empire. To celebrate this momentous achievement, a number of events were held during the months of May and June, including a major airshow at Izmir-Cigli Air Base on the Aegean Coast of Western Turkey. Jetwash Aviation Photos as expected, was on hand to experience its first taste of airshows 'Turkish-Style' over the weekend of 3rd-6th June. With every Turkish Air Force type in the current inventory promised to be in attendance, plus some exotic visitors from countries such as Algeria, Bulgaria, Jordan and Pakistan, it was 'the place to be' in the 2011 airshow season, and as expected a hard-core of enthusiasts from around Europe and beyond descended on the area with great anticipation of what lay in store. The weather throughout the arrivals/departure days and for the show itself could not have been more perfect, with temperatures in the low 30s and wall to wall sun.

The Turkish Navy also provided one of their SOCATA TB.20 Trinidad from 301 Filo based at Topel

This Eurocopter AS.532UL Cougar is used in the Search & Rescue (SAR) role and is one of 14 of this variant in use
The Turkish Air Force also operates six for Combat Search & Rescue (CSAR) duties

Turkish Navy S-70B SeaHawk bathes in glorious sunshine in the static display

There were numerous other aircraft that participated in the 100th Anniversary Airshow at Izmir-Cigli, together with a number of support aircraft from various countries. It would take up a huge amount of space to illustrate every type/air arm that participated and so we have restricted our content to the more interesting types that could be seen. However, the main aim was to celebrate the achievements of the Turkish Air Force, but as well as the Turkish Air Force attempting to get one of every type in their inventory on display, the Turkish Coast Guard, Army and Navy also participated in some way. So let's take a look at some of the 'local' participants that attended the show.

And so we move on to what our trip to Turkey was all about. The 100th Anniversary of the Turkish Air Force
First to greet us once on base at Cigli was a pair of Cessna T-37s, one of which was #63-9840 (above)

These are based at Cigli and operated by 122 Filo under the auspices of 2 Wing

They are currently being replaced by the KT-1T WongBee turbo-prop trainer