North American

Previous U.S. MILITARY Next

Photo: Robert Deering 6/15/2013
Denton Municipal Airport
Denton, Texas

Photo: Robert Deering 10/18/2012
National Museum of the USAF
Dayton, Ohio

Photo: Robert Deering 4/26/2014
NAS Fort Worth JRB
Fort Worth, Texas

Photo: Robert Deering 1986
National Museum of Naval Aviation
Pensacola, Florida

Photo: Robert Deering 4/18/2015
National Museum of Naval Aviation
Pensacola, Florida

Photo: Robert Deering 6/27/2015
USS Lexington Museum
Corpus Christi, Texas
North American designed the T-28 to replace the World War II era T-6 trainer. First flown in September 1949, the Trojan entered production in 1950. An 800-hp engine powered the USAF version (T-28A) while the later U.S. Navy versions (T-28B and C) were powered by a 1,425-hp engine. When production ended in 1957, North American had built a total of 1,948 of these three versions.

The T-28 had the look, feel, sound, and power of early World War II fighters, something the Navy desired it to have when it entered training service mid-century. Powerful but predictable, the aircraft was an ideal trainer, although it was not pressurized and lacked ejection seats. Cockpit instrumentation, although adequate for instrument flight, would be considered primitive by today's standards.

Students found the T-28 sturdy and roomy, with great visibility. In flight it was both responsive and docile, and fully aerobatic. It could be safely spun from relatively low altitudes and counted upon for a nearly instantaneous recovery. Control response was quick, despite the T-28's lack of hydraulically boosted controls, though over the wide range of the aircraft's flight regime pilots had to trim the aircraft incessantly. Slow fight, as necessitated by carrier operations, were particularly impressive, as was the power response of the large radial engine.

In addition to its training duties, the T-28 was actively utilized in the Vietnam War by the U.S. and South Vietnamese Air Force as the T-28D Nomad, which was equipped to carry a variety of weapons ranging from bombs and rockets to napalm for use on counter insurgency missions throughout Southeast Asia. It was especially effective in night operations against targets not protected by radar controlled anti-aircraft batteries, and as armed escorts for A-26 attack aircraft and helicopters. They also operated in hunter/killer teams with observationaircraft equipped with Starlight scopes to locate enemy convoys.
Manufacturer: North American Aviation
Type: Trainer
Crew: Instuctor and Student
Powerplant: One 1,425 horsepower Wright R-1820-86 engine 
Dememsions: Length: 33 ft.
Height: 12 ft. 8 in.
Wingspan: 40 ft., 1 in.
Weight: Empty: 6,424 lb.
Gross: 8,500 lb.
Performance: Max Speed: 343 mph
Ceiling: 35,500 ft.
Range: 1,060 miles

SOURCE: National Museum of the United States Air Force and National Museum of Naval Aviation