|A US Navy T-28B in 1973|
|Manufacturer||North American Aviation|
|First flight||24 September 1949|
|Retired||1994 Philippine Air Force|
|Primary users||United States Air Force|
United States Navy
Republic of Vietnam Air Force
French Air Force
|Developed from||North American XSN2J|
|Developed into||AIDC T-CH-1|
The North American Aviation T-28 Trojan is a radial-engine military trainer aircraft manufactured by North American Aviation and 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. It has continued in civilian use as an aerobatics and warbird performer.
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
After becoming adopted as a primary trainer by the USAF, the United States Navy and Marine Corps adopted it as well. Although the Air Force phased out the aircraft from primary pilot training by the early 1960s, continuing use only for limited training of special operations aircrews and for primary training of select foreign military personnel, the aircraft continued to be used as a primary trainer by the Navy (and by default, the Marine Corps and Coast Guard) well into the early 1980s.
The largest single concentration of this aircraft was employed by the U.S. Navy at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Florida, in the training of student naval aviators. The T-28's service career in the U.S. military ended with the completion of the phase-in of the T-34C turboprop trainer. The last U.S. Navy training squadron to fly the T-28 was VT-27 "Boomers", based at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, flying the last T-28 training flight in early 1984. The last T-28 in the Training Command, BuNo 137796, departed for Naval District Washington on 14 March 1984 to be displayed permanently at Naval Support Facility Anacostia, D.C.
In 1963, a Royal Lao Air Force T-28 piloted by Lieutenant Chert Saibory, a Thai national, defected to North Vietnam. Saibory was immediately imprisoned and his aircraft was impounded. Within six months the T-28 was refurbished and commissioned into the North Vietnamese Air Force as its first fighter aircraft.
T-28s were supplied to the Republic of Vietnam Air Force (RVNAF) in support of ARVN ground operations, seeing extensive service during the Vietnam War in RVNAF hands, as well as the Secret War in Laos. A T-28 Trojan was the first US fixed wing attack aircraft (non-transport type) lost in South Vietnam, during the Vietnam War. Capt. Robert L. Simpson, USAF, Detachment 2A, 1st Air Commando Group, and Lt. Hoa, RVNAF, were shot down by ground fire on August 28, 1962 while flying close air support. Neither crewman survived. The USAF lost 23 T-28s to all causes during the war, with the last two losses occurring in 1968.
T-28s were used by the CIA in the former Belgian Congo during the 1960s.
The T-28B and D were the primary ground attack aircraft of Khmer Air Force in Cambodia during the war there, largely provided from the U.S. Military Equipment Delivery Team and maintained by Air America. On the night of 21 January 1971, PAVN sappers managed to get close enough to destroy the majority at Pochentong airbase. Replacements were quickly shipped in. On 17 March 1973 a pilot of a T-28, said to be Capt. So Petra, a common-law husband of one of the daughters of the overthrown Prince Norodom Sihanouk, machine gunned and bombed the palace of Lon Nol in an attempt to assassinate him, killing at least 20 and wounding 35, before defecting to Khmer Rouge held lands.
France's Armée de l'Air used locally re-manufactured Trojans, T-28S Fennec, for close support missions in Algeria.
Nicaragua replaced its fleet of 30+ ex-Swedish P-51s with T-28s in the early 1960s, with more aircraft acquired in the 1970s and 1980s.
The Philippines utilized T-28s (colloquially known as "Tora-toras") during the 1989 Philippine coup attempt. The aircraft were often deployed as dive bombers by rebel forces.
AeroVironment modified and armored a T-28A to fly weather research for South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, funded by the National Science Foundation, and operated in this capacity from 1969 to 2005. SDSM&T was planning to replace it with another modified, but more modern, former military aircraft, specifically a Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II. This plan was found to carry too many risks associated with the costly modifications required and the program was cancelled in 2018.
Many retired T-28s were subsequently sold to private civil operators, and due to their reasonable operating costs are often found flying or displayed as warbirds today.
Many T-28s are on display throughout the world. In addition, a considerable number of flyable examples exist in private ownership, as the aircraft is a popular sport plane and warbird.
T-28 TROJAN 50-221 "LITTL JUGGS". Toowoomba Australia
Data from Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era