Turkish Stars: Türkiye’s national aerobatics team rules the skies - M5 Dergi
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Turkish Stars: Türkiye’s national aerobatics team rules the skies

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Members of Turkish Star talk to Anadolu as their breathtaking air shows captivate audience at country’s largest space and technology festival TEKNOFEST

Türkiye’s aerobatics team Turkish Stars’ breathtaking air shows captivated the audience at the country’s largest space and technology festival TEKNOFEST.

“The Turkish Stars, the seventh and final national aerobatics team of the Turkish Air Force, in other words, we can call them the national team in the sky,” said Turkish Stars’ Fleet Commander Lieutenant Colonel Kemal Koyunluoglu.

He said they are honored to perform for an enthusiastic crowd at Cigli Airport in Türkiye’s Aegean province of Izmir.

The five-day TEKNOFEST, Türkiye’s premier technology and aerospace event, kicked off on Wednesday, and features competitions, air shows, exhibitions, and workshops where visitors can also experience vertical wind tunnels, simulations, and planetarium shows.

“The suitability of the display location, audience safety, and flight safety are evaluated, and an assessment is made based on the suitability of the display area and display flight,” he explained.

“After completing the approval process following a meeting held in the Air Force, they are added to the display schedule, and we follow that schedule,” he added.

Major Kursat Komur, for his part, explained the team’s “rare” maneuvers that are considered their signature.

“We have a landing gear intersection maneuver where our solo leader passes through the four planes in front of the audience’s eyes, a maneuver that requires courage and is rarely seen in other teams,” Komur said.

“Another maneuver is where the Team Leader reverses and meets the main package of the other three planes, a special maneuver unique to the Turkish Stars, and the other three planes perform a ‘tonneau’ maneuver,” he added.

Major Hasan Kocabas, the solo leader, stressed the importance of the pilots’ physical and mental health. “Flying requires, first and foremost, being physically, mentally, and equipment-wise at a sufficient level, and within the aerobatic team, this is at the highest level.”

Major Mehmet Balta stated that the Turkish Stars, which were established within the Turkish Air Force in 1992, began their performances with the NF-5 aircraft, which are the most suitable and beautiful aircraft for aerobatic team flights.

“With modernization, they continue their shows with the NF-5 2000 aircraft,” Balta said, adding, “We hope to perform these flights with the HurJet in the near future, and we are eagerly looking forward to adding the HurJet to our inventory.”

Major Gokhan Esen, for his part, said those who participated in the Turkish Stars after a long period of training and work are proud to fly the Turkish flag all over the world.

Major Sukru Gumus, who was training in the squadron, said they saw the feeling of admiration and patriotism in the audience’s eyes.

Anadolu has been among TEKNOFEST’s media shareholders as a global communications partner of the event since the first edition.

The event was previously held in various Turkish cities in even years and in the metropolis of Istanbul in odd years. To mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Türkiye, the event was planned in three different provinces this year.

The first edition of the event this year was held at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport in May, welcoming a world record of 2.2 million visitors. The second was held from Aug. 30-Sept. 3 in the capital Ankara, attracting nearly 1 million people.

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