Turkish Air Force  / Türk Hava Kuvvetleri

                        Credit:  Roundels of the world
Roundel till 1972                  Roundel from 1972

                          Last update 18-09-13

Data written in blue are subject to confirmation

                                        ACROBATIC TEAMS

161 Filo  -  Kartal  - Bats
The "Kartal" (Bats) aerobatics team was formed within the 161 Filo in 1969 with 3 Northrop F-5A as first team flying the Freedom Fighter aircrafts, succeeding to the "Yarasal" (Eagle) team based at Merzifon AB equipped
with Canadair F-86E(M).

The team 
participated to several domestic demonstrations. International air shows started in 1969 at Aviano AFB (Italy) with four aircrafts; the team was formed by five aircrafts in 1970, before being disbanded and
having shown its
last performance 1971 again at Aviano AFB.


The full complement of the team taking off at Aviano AF-5B on 28-07-69,                                                   Visible on this poor quality photo are three "Kartal" team Northrop F-5A at Aviano AB;
serials 21201, 21207 and two others.                                                                                                     under the nose the Turkish AF emblem.
                                                           Photo: archive The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast

                                                                                          Photo: archive The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast
                                                              Converted Northrop F-5A to RF-5A 21203 and 21205 of the "Kartal" (Bats) acrobatics team at
                                                               Aviano AFB (Italy) in June 1971. Note old nationality markings. 


              Türk  Yildizlari  - Turkish Stars  / 134  Akrotim Filo  (Acrobatic team)

Turkish and English versions badges and under cockpit badge

                                                     badge 20 years
      20 years under cockpit / Serial 4021 special colours 25 years  -  Malta 23-09-17

132 Filo

After an interruption of 21 years approval to form a new team to be established at Konya AB within the 132 Filo equipped with 4 Canadair NF-5A and NF-5B was given on 11-07-92; 132 Filo aircrafts were inspected
and 4 pilots selected to be the core of the team. Members of the team went to Canada, United Kingdom and Italy to study the local procedures. Official team foundation date is 07-11-92, receiving 4 Canadair NF-5A/B
on 25-12-1992 and its present name on 11-01-93,

Acrobatic flying training was successfully completed on double-seaters by January 1993 and in the same year training for a team of four and five components started, a total of 10 Canadair NF-5A and 2 NF-5B
were allocated to it.
First official demonstration took place at on 18-06-93 at the Akinci AB, near Ankara; aircrafts were still in their original camouflage colours. In July 1994

Modifications on the aircrafts, removing guns barrell, chaff/flare dispenser, installation of a smoke generator and a new flight safety system, as well as painting in the colours of the team of 9 single- and 1 double-
seaters. Works started in August 1993 at the 1st Air Supply and Maintenance Center
, while in August of the of 1993 modifications and changes on 9 Canadair NF-5A and 1 Candair NF-5B for the team starte; they were
completed by July 1994.

134 Filo

The year 1994 saw the independence of the team with the establishment of the 134 Filo; it remained based at Konya AB.

Introduction of
the seven single-seater aircrafts team to the Turkish public was at Diyarbakir AB on 05-10-94 and on 29-10-94, while the first international presentation was at the Distant Thunder 95  Excercise; first show in
Continental Europe took place at Kleine Brogel AB (Belgium) and Soesterberg (Netherlands) in 10 and 17 September 1995 with 8 Canadair NF-5A and 1 NF-5B, by 29-10-00 it had completed its 100th demonstration at Ankara.

The year 2001 saw the increase of the team to
6 Canadair NF-5A and 1 NF-5B, plus 1 NF-5B as reserve, seen for the first time at Cigli AB on 01-06-01. Possibly a world record was the demonstration at Baku
(Azerbajan) on 24-08-01, when the team performed before an audience of over one million people.

Training to use eight performing aircrafts started in 2003 and first demonstration took place at Konya on March 30th, 2004.

Domestic and international show performances followed without stop: the 200th took place at Rize (Turkey) on 03-07-04 and the 300th at Florennes AB (Belgium) on 08-08-08.

                                                                                    Photo: archive The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast
                                                   Underfuselage, first colours, of Canadair NF-5A 3039 showing the red eagle, Kecskemet 07-08-10.

Further updating aircrafts used by the team to the new Canadair NF-5A-2000 and NF-5B-2000 standard took place between May 26th, 2009 and April 22nd 2011.


Unfortunately one of the Squadrons'
Canadair NF-5A-2000 was written off on 13-03-12, shortly after take-off from Konya AB on a training flight.

The aircrafts were repainted after the 2011 display season for the 20th anniversary with even more eye-catching colours, to render them more visible and recognising them as the "Turkish National Team in the Sky"

                                                                         frame 1
                                                          New colours under - and over-fuselage view at Kubinka AB (Russia) on 27-08-17
                                                                                                                                                               Photo: FoxbatRU

                  Photo: Paolo Rollino

                                                                                                  Photo: Turkish AF              Canadair NF-5B selrial 4001, code 4 seen at Konya on 21-06-13 as used by the Turkish Stars

By the end of 2011 the team had performed a total of 388 displays in 19 countries (8 in Austria, 2 in Azerbajan, 7 in Belgium, 4 in Bulgaria, 2 in the Czech Republic, 1 in Denmark, 4 in France, 12 in Hungary, 2 in
Israel, 1 in Italy, 2 in Jordan, 6 in the Netherlands, 1 in Norway, 4 in Romania, 2 in Slovakia, 40 in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, 280 in Turkey, 2 in the United Arab Emirates, 8 in the United Kingdom).

One demonstration took place in Cyprus on 19-07-01; nine aircrafts landed at Lefkoniko airport and gave a show over the sea and in the Kyrenia and Karpasia regions; they departed on 21-07-01.
Another demonstration was on 20-07-03; ten aircrafts landed at Tymbou airport together with 4 McDonnel F-4 and 4 General Dynamics F-16. Seven Canadairs gave a demonstration the same day
over the sea
area of Kyrenia; they left the following day.

The Filo formed a flight of 8 former 133 Squadron camouflaged F-5A-2000 and 2 F-5B-2000 upon disbandment of this unit in July 2013 to maintain instructors' experience.

A Lockheed C-130, painted in teams' colours, was used as a support aircraft till 2008, when it was replaced by one C-160 Transall, also in the teams' colours.

Several Canadair NF-5As and NF-5B were at Konya 05-05-15 in Türk Yilzari colours; five were read and others not. In addition 11 Northrop F-5A-2000 and 1 F-5B-2000 were seen at 1st Depot in Eskisehir.