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T-28 Trojan

This article is about the aircraft. For other uses, see T28 (disambiguation).
T-28 Trojan
A U.S. Navy T-28B in 1973
Role Trainer aircraft
Manufacturer North American Aviation
First flight 24 September 1949
Retired 1994 Philippine Air Force [1]
Primary users United States Air Force
United States Navy
South Vietnamese Air Force
French Air Force
Produced 1950-1957
Number built 1,948
Developed from North American XSN2J
Developed into AIDC T-CH-1

The North American Aviation T-28 Trojan is a piston-engined 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 (COIN) aircraft, primarily during the Vietnam War.

Design and development

On September 24, 1949, the XT-28 (company designation NA-159) was flown for the first time, designed to replace the T-6 Texan. 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[2]

Operational history

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 out of 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 NAS 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, based at NAS 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.[3] Many T-28s were subsequently sold to private civil operators, and due to their reasonable operating costs are often found flying as warbirds today.

In September 2011 a T-28 Trojan stunt team lost one of its planes and pilots during an air show in Martinsburg, West Virginia. No other casualties were reported.[4]

Vietnam War

In 1963, a Laotian 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.[5]

T-28s were supplied to the South Vietnamese Air Force in support of ARVN ground operations, seeing extensive service during the Vietnam War in VNAF 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, lst Air Commando Group, and Lt. Hoa, SVNAF, were shot down by ground fire on August 28, 1962 while flying Close Air Support (CAS). Neither crewman survived. The USAF lost 23 T-28s to all causes during the war, with the last two losses occurring in 1968.[6]

Other uses

T-28s were also used by the CIA in the former Belgian Congo during the 1960s.[7] France used locally re-manufactured Trojans for close support missions in Algeria.[8] 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 has modified and armored a T-28A to fly weather research for South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, funded by the National Science Foundation.[9][10]


Prototype, 2 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-1820-9 radial engine, 3-blade propeller, belly mounted speed brake, 489 built.
US Navy version, a T-28B with shortened propeller blade and tailhook for carrier landing training, 266 built.
T-28D Nomad
T-28As converted for the counter insurgency (COIN) role. Fitted with six underwing hardpoints. Total 393 converted - 321 by Pacific Airmotive licensed by NAA, plus 72 by Fairchild Hiller.
T-28 Nomad Mark I - Wright R-1820-56S engines 1300 hp.[2][11]
T-28 Nomad Mark II - Wright R-1820-76A 1425 hp
T-28 Fennec
T-28As converted for the counter insurgency (COIN) role. Fitted with six underwing hardpoints.Wright R-1820-76A 1425 hp.
148 modified by Sud-Aviation in France
T-28Ds used for attack training by the USAF.
Counter insurgency development of T-28D powered by 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 twelve underwing pylons. Three prototypes converted by North American from T-28As, with first flying on 15 February 1963, but project was canceled in 1965.[12]
T-28R-1 Nomair
Ex-USAF T-28s refurbished for Brazilian Navy
T-28R-2 Nomair
Ex-USAF T-28s converted into two or five-place general aviation aircraft by Hamilton Aircraft Company with R-1820 engines.[13]
Photo reconnaissance conversion for COIN use with Royal Lao Air Force. Number of conversions unknown.[14]


 Republic of the Congo
 Dominican Republic
 South Korea
 Saudi Arabia
 South Vietnam
 United States
  • Vietnam People's Air Force[34]


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.


On display


On display


On display
  • 51-3664 - Chung Cheng Aviation Museum, Taipai Airport, Taiwan.[38]


On display

United Kingdom

On display

United States

On display

Specifications (T-28D)

General characteristics


  • 2 or 6 × wing-mounted pylons capable of carrying bombs, napalm, rockets. machine gun pods containing .30 in (7.62 mm) (training), .50 in (D-model) or twin pods with .50 in (12.7 mm) and 20 mm (.79 in) cannon (Fennec)
  • See also

    Related development
    Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

    Related lists




    • Andrade, John. Militair 1982. London: Aviation Press Limited, 1982. ISBN 0-907898-01-7.
    • Avery, Norm. North American Aircraft: 1934-1998, Volume 1. Santa Ana, California: Narkiewicz-Thompson, 1998. ISBN 0-913322-05-9.
    • Fitzsimons, Bernie. The Defenders: A Comprehensive Guide to Warplanes of the USA. London: Aerospace Publishing, 1988. ISBN 1-870318-1-2.
    • Green, William. Observers Aircraft, 1956. London: Frederick Warne Publishing, 1956.
    • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). London: Orbis Publishing, 1985.
    • Krivinyi, Nikolaus. World Military Aviation. New York: Arco Publishing Company, 1977. ISBN 0-668-04348-2,
    • Tate, Jess. "Ultimate Trojan: North American's YAT-28E Project". Air Enthusiast, No. 99, May/June 1999. pp. 58–59. ISSN 0143-5450.
    • Taylor, John J.H. and Kenneth Munson.Jane's Pocket Book of Major Combat Aircraft. New York: Collier Books, 1973. ISBN 0-7232-3697-6.
    • Thompson, Kevin. North American Aircraft: 1934-1998 Volume 2. Santa Ana, California: Narkiewicz-Thompson, 1999. ISBN 0-913322-06-7.
    • Toperczer, Istvan. MiG-17 and MiG-19 Units of the Vietnam War. London: Osprey Publishing Limited, 2001. ISBN 1-84176-162-1.
    • United States Air Force Museum guidebook. Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio: Air Force Museum Foundation, 1975.

    External links

    • National Museum US Air Force - Factsheet T-28 Trojan
    • Warbird Alley: T-28 page
    • T-28 FENNEC : History + 2006 inventory
    • T-28 Trojan Registry: The histories of those aircraft that survived military service
    • North American T-28 Trojan (Variants/Other Names: AT-28; Fennec)
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