North American T-28 Trojan

North American T-28 Trojan
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

VNAF T-28Ds over Vietnam.

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. The 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 a series of unsuccessful coups d’état during the 1980s, the aircraft were often deployed as dive bombers by rebel forces.[citation needed]


An early-production U.S. Navy T-28B in 1954.
A tail hook-equipped T-28C after trapping aboard USS Tarawa (CVA-40), in 1955.
A turboprop-powered YAT-28E in 1964.
Prototype, 2 built.
US Air Force version with an 800 hp (597 kW) Wright R-1300-7 radial engine, 1,194 built.
US 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. Re-engined as per the T-28B and C, and fitted with six underwing hardpoints. Total 393 converted - 321 by NAA, plus 72 by Fairchild Hiller.
T-28Ds used for attack training by the USAF.
Two airframes converted with turboprop power for counter insurgency role. Project not proceeded with.
Ex-USAF T-28As refurbished and modified by Sud-Aviation in France
T-28R-1 Nomair
Ex-USAF T-28s refurbished for Brazilian Navy
T-28R-2 Nomair
Ex-USAF T-28s converted into general aviation aircraft
Nomad Mark I
Ex-USAF T-28As refurbished for civil use by PacAero with Wright R-1820-56S engines [2]
Nomad Mark II
Ex-USAF T-28As refurbished for civil use by PacAero with Wright R-1820-76A engines [2]


T-28Ds used in Operation Barrel Roll in Laos.
A former French T-28 Fennec.
Derelict Royal Saudi Air Force T-28A Trojan at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, one of four acquired in the 1950s
  • Cambodian Air Force operated 47 T-28s in total in service.[10][11][12]
 Republic of the Congo
 Dominican Republic
  • Haitian Air Force - 12 ex-French Air Force[10]
  • Honduran Air Force - 8 former Morrocan Air Force Fennecs.[11][12][19]
  • Japanese Air Self-Defense Force[20]
 South Korea
 Saudi Arabia
 South Vietnam
 United States

Aircraft on display

A T-28A of the USAF Museum.
T-28B BuNo 138266 in 2008.

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-28B (marked as 529263) is on display aboard the museum ship USS Hornet (CV-12) in Alameda, California. This aircraft is painted in Air Training Command yellow, with the green markings of an instrument trainer.[32]
  • T-28D Trojan Reg number O-37661 ex Bu137661 c/n 200-24, at Royal Thai Air Force Museum, Don Muang AFB.[citation needed]
  • A rare US Army T-28B (S/N 137702) that was flight tested, is on display at the Air Force Test Flight Center Museum, at Edwards AFB, California.[34][35]

Specifications (T-28D)

North American T-28C Trojan.

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


  1. ^ "Historical Listings: Philippines, (PHL)."] World Air Forces. Retrieved: 19 May 2011.
  2. ^ a b c The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft 1985, p. 2678.
  3. ^ "T-28." Retrieved: 9 July 2010.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Toperczer 2001, pp. 8–9.
  6. ^ Hobson, Chris. Vietnam Air Losses, USAF/Navy/Marine, Fixed Wing Aircraft Losses in Southeast 1961-1973. North Branch, Minnesota: Specialty Press, 2001. ISBN 1-85780-115-6.
  7. ^ "Holm, Richard L., "A Plane Crash, Rescue, and Recovery - A Close Call in Africa", Center for the Study of Intelligence, Historical Perspectives, Washington, D.C., Winter 1999-2000.
  8. ^ "The true story of the T-28 Fennec." Retrieved: 9 July 2010.
  9. ^ "Air Force Aircraft Fleet." Aeromilitaria, April 2009. Retrieved: 25 July 2009.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Taylor and Munson 1973, p. 179.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Krivinyi 1977, p. 178.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Fitzsimons 1988, p. 137.
  13. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 28.
  14. ^ Wieland, William A. "Memorandum From the Director of the Office of Middle American Affairs.", August 1958. Retrieved: 21 February 2010.
  15. ^ Valero, Jose Ramon. "Picture of the North American T-28 Trojan aircraft.", October 2003. Retrieved: 21 February 2010.
  16. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 56.
  17. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 58.
  18. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 62.
  19. ^ a b Andrade 1982, p. 97.
  20. ^ Green 1956, p. 238.
  21. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 146.
  22. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 156.
  23. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 181.
  24. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 143.
  25. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 223.
  26. ^ "Talking Paper for Chief of Staff, U.S. Army: Guidance for T-28 Aircraft Operations." U.S. Army, 9 March 1964.
  27. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 336.
  28. ^ (Vietnamese) Secrets of US Air Operations in North Vietnam (Bí mật các chiến dịch không kích của Mỹ vào Bắc Việt Nam), People's Police Publisher, p. 513.
  29. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 343.
  30. ^ United States Air Force Museum 1975, p. 81.
  31. ^ "Flying Day Information." Temora Aviation Museum, 2009. Retrieved: 25 July 2009.
  32. ^ Lubich, Dwight. "T-28B Trojan." USS Hornet Museum, 2008. Retrieved: 25 July 2009.
  33. ^ "Military Aircraft." Carolinas Historic Aviation Commission. Retrieved: 15 March 2010.
  34. ^ "T-28." Aviation Enthusiast Corner via Retrieved: 28 January 2011.
  35. ^ "Air Force Flight Test Center Museum Guide." Retrieved: 28 January 2011.
  • Andrade, John. Militair 1982. London: Aviation Press Limited, 1982. ISBN 0-907898-01-07.
  • Avery, Norm. North American Aircraft: 1934-1998, Volume 1. Santa Ana, CA: 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,
  • 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, CA: 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.

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