The North American Aviation T-28 Trojan is a radial-engine military trainer aircraft used by the United States Air Force and United States Navy beginning in the 1950s.
Besides its use as a trainer, the T-28 was successfully employed as a counter-insurgency aircraft, primarily during the Vietnam War.
On September 24, 1949, the XT-28 (company designation NA-159) was flown for the first time, designed to replace the T-6 Texan.
The T-28A arrived at the Air Proving Ground, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in mid-June 1950, for suitability tests as an advanced trainer by the 3200th Fighter Test Squadron, with consideration given to its transition, instrument, and gunnery capabilities.
Found satisfactory, a contract was issued and between 1950 and 1957, a total of 1,948 were built.
Following the T-28’s withdrawal from U.S. military service, a number were remanufactured by Hamilton Aircraft into two versions called the Nomair.
The first refurbished machines, designated T-28R-1 were similar to the standard T-28s they were adapted from and were supplied to the Brazilian Navy.
Later, a more ambitious conversion was undertaken as the T-28R-2, which transformed the two-seat tandem aircraft into a five-seat cabin monoplane for general aviation use.
Other civil conversions of ex-military T-28As were undertaken by PacAero as the Nomad Mark I and Nomad Mark II
Prototype, two built.
U.S. Air Force version with an 800 hp (597 kW) Wright R-1300-7 radial engine, 1,194 built.
U.S. Navy version with 1,425 hp (1,063 kW) Wright R-1820-86A or 86B radial engine, three-blade propeller, belly-mounted speed brake, 489 built.
U.S. Navy version, a T-28B with shortened propeller blades and tail-hook for carrier landing training.
T-28Bs converted for the USAF in 1962 for the counterinsurgency, reconnaissance, search and rescue, and forward air controller roles in Vietnam.
Fitted with two underwing hardpoints.
The later T-28D-5 had ammo pans inside the wings that could be hooked up to hard point-mounted gun pods for a better centre of gravity and aerodynamics, 321 converted by Pacific Airmotive (Pac-Aero).
T-28 Nomad Mark I
Wright R-1820-56S engine (1,300 hp).
T-28 Nomad Mark II
Wright R-1820-76A (1,425 hp)
T-28 Nomad Mark III
Wright R-1820-80 (1,535 hp)
Attack model of the T-28D used for Close Air Support (CAS) missions by the USAF and allied Air Forces in Southeast Asia, which were nicknamed “Tangos” by their pilots.
It was fitted with six under wing hard points and the rocket-powered Stanley Yankee ejection seat, 72 converted by Fairchild Hiller.
Experimental development of the counter-insurgency T-28D.
It was powered by a 2,445 hp (1,823 kW) Lycoming YT-55L-9 turboprop and armed with two 50 in machine guns and up to 6,000 lb (2,730 kg) of weapons on 12 under wing hard points.
Three prototypes were converted from T-28As by North American, with the first model flying on 15 February 1963. The project was cancelled in 1965.
Ex-USAF T-28As converted in 1959 for use by the French Armée de l’Air, replacing the Morane-Saulnier MS.733A.
It was flown by their Escadrilles d’Aviation Légère d’Appui (EALA; “Light Aviation Support Squadrons”) in the counterinsurgency role in North Africa from 1959 to 1962.
Fitted with an electrically powered sliding canopy, side-armour, a 1,200 hp Wright R-1820-97 supercharged radial engine (the model used in the B-17 bomber), and four underwing hardpoints.
It is referred to as the “S” variant because its engine had a supercharger on it, it has also been referred to as the T-28F variant – with the “F” standing for France.
For fire support missions it usually carried two double-mount .50-caliber machine gun pods (with 100 rounds per gun) and two MATRA Type 122 6 x 68mm rocket pods.
It could also carry on paired hardpoints a 120 kg (264 lb) HE or GP “Iron” bomb,
1 x MATRA Type 361 36 x 37mm (1.45-inch) rocket pod,
1 x SNEB 7 x 55mm (2.16-inch) rocket pod,
1 x MATRA Type 13 single-rail, MATRA Type 20
Type 21 double-rail, MATRA Type 41 quadruple-rail (2 x 2),
MATRA Type 61
Type 63 sextuple-rail (3 x 3) SERAM T10 heavy rocket launchers.
Improvised napalm bombs were created by dropping gas tanks loaded with Octagel thickened fuel inside, then later igniting or detonating the spilled fuel with white phosphorus rockets.
Total 148 airframes bought from Pacific Airmotive (Pac Aero) and modified by Sud-Aviation in France.
After the war the French government offered them for sale from 1964 to 1967.
They sold most of them to Morocco and Argentina.
The Fuerza Aérea de Nicaragua (FAN) purchased four of these ex-Morocco aircraft during 1979.
Argentina later sold some to Uruguay and Honduras.
T-28S Fennec aircraft sold to the Argentinean Navy as carrier-borne attack aircraft.
They were given shortened propeller blades and a tail hook to allow carrier landings.
An attempt by Hamilton Aircraft Company of Tucson, Arizona to make a civilianized Nomad III-equivalent out of refurbished ex-USAF T-28As.
It had a Wright Cyclone R-1820-80 engine to make it fast and powerful but had to lengthen the wingspan by seven feet to reduce the stall speed to below a “street-legal” 70 knots.
The prototype flew for the first time in September 1960, and the FAA Type Certificate was received on 15 February 1962.
At the time, the T-28-R2 was the fastest single engined standard category aircraft available in the United States.
It had been flown to a height of 38,700 ft. [11,800 m].
T-28R-1 Nomair I
A military trainer that had a tandem cockpit, dual instrumentation and flying controls, and hydraulically actuated rearward-sliding canopy.
Six were sold in 1962 as carrier-landing trainers to the Brazilian Navy and were modified with a carrier arrestor hook.
They were later transferred to the Brazilian Air Force.
T-28R-2 Nomair II
Modified to have a cramped five-seater cabin (one pilot and two rows of two passengers) that opened from the port side.
Ten aircraft were modified in all, one was sold to a high-altitude photographic company.
Photo reconnaissance conversion for counter insurgency use with Royal Lao Air Force.