The First Turkish Passenger Aircraft

... 1930 days in Turkey as well as in the world of economic contraction ... important needs of the army was met with donations collected from the public. In those days, campaigns were made to purchase military aircraft. Wealthy businessmen were also asked to support the campaign. One of them was Nuri Demirağ. Demirağ answered this request as follows: “What are you saying? If you want something for this nation from me, you should ask for the best. Since a nation cannot live without a crew, then we should not expect this means of living from the grace of others. I am willing to build the factory of these planes. ”


Nuri Demirağ year was 1936 when the plaster arms to establish the aviation sector in Turkey. He started the research as the first job and prepared a ten-year plan. In Beşiktaş, efforts have been started to establish an aircraft factory in the area where the present Maritime Museum is located. He made an agreement with a Czechoslovak firm. A modern building was built according to its period.

While infrastructure and construction works are continuing, technical researches were also conducted. Study tours were organized to aircraft and engine factories of countries such as Soviet Russia, Germany and England. Nuri Demirağ and his team could now start producing their own prototypes instead of licensing another country's aircraft.

The Diamond Pasha Farm in Yeşilköy was purchased for test flights. Elmas Pasha Farm, which is currently used as Atatürk Airport, was a large land of 1559 acres. In addition to the flight track, Nuri Demirağ Gök Flight School, repair workshop and hangars were built in the field.


Selahattin Resit site of Turkey's first aircraft engineer, drew the plans of airplanes and gliders. Thus, the first single-engine aircraft was produced in 1936: “Nu.D-36”. In 1938 "Nuri Demirağ Nu D.38" Turkey's first passenger aircraft manufactured by the name.

The aircraft, which was built by Turkish technicians and workers, except for its engines, was capable of speeding up to 325 km per hour. The aircraft was equipped with two 2200-horsepower engines with double control and 2 rpm. The plane weighing 160 kilograms could carry up to 1200 kilograms of passengers and luggage. The aircraft, which has a range of 700 km with full tank fuel, could stay in the air for 1000 hours. The ceiling altitude was 3.5 meters.

The first trial flights were carried out by pilots Basri Alev and Mehmet Altunbay. State officials also participated in the test flights. Nu.D-38 was classified as a world aviation passenger aircraft class A in 1944. A very important feature of the aircraft was that it could be converted into military transport and bomber aircraft, if necessary.

Finally, the expected day came… The first domestic passenger airplane with a capacity of 6 people made its first flight on May 26, 1944. On the plane, there were 2 pilots, owner of Tasvir-i Efkar newspaper Ziyat Ebuzziya, Vatan Newspaper reporter Faruk Fenik and Nuri Demirağ. The plane, which took off from Istanbul at 9:45, successfully landed at Ankara Etimesgut Airport 1.5 hours later. The passengers of the first flight were met in Ankara by Ferruh Bey, General Director of Airlines. The result was perfect…

Nu.D-38 later made trial trips to cities such as Bursa, Izmir, Kayseri and Sivas. However, Nuri Demirağ could not receive the necessary orders for the continuation of the production. Thus, the project was interrupted. If Turkey's first passenger aircraft after losing his life Nuri Demirağ were involved in the past sold to scrap dealers.


Nuri Demirağ was born in Sivas-Divrigi in 1886. He has been banking for many years. In 1910, he started to work as a civil servant in Beyoğlu Revenues Directorate with the examination of the Ministry of Finance. He became a finance inspector in 1918. After leaving the finance inspectorate, he entered the cigarette paper production business.

He started to manufacture the first Turkish cigarette paper in a small shop in Eminönü. He made a big profit from his first business venture. While Demirağ was engaged in trade, the National Struggle started. Nuri Demirağ actively participated in the struggle, directed the Maçka Branch of Müdafaa-i Hukuk Cemlığı.


After the War of Independence, Nuri Demirağ took on another important task. In 1926, the French company, which undertook the construction of the Samsun-Sivas railway, aspired to this job after the project was abandoned. He partnered with his brother Abdurrahman Naci Bey and worked as a railway contractor. He completed the 1012 km railway consisting of Samsun-Erzurum, Sivas-Erzurum and Afyon-Dinar lines in one year. As a result of this great success, Atatürk was given the surname "Demirağ".


Nuri Demirağ prepared a project to bridge the Bosphorus in 1931. He made a deal with the firm that built the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. He presented the project to President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Although Atatürk liked the project, the government did not get approval. Thus, the bridge project was shelved.

By 1945, Nuri Demirağ appeared on the political scene this time. He entered politics by establishing the National Development Party. However, the party could not enter parliament in the elections. Thereupon, he became a deputy of Sivas from the Democratic Party list in the 1954 elections. Nuri Demirağ passed away on 13 November 1957, leaving great success behind.

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