Photo by Max Haynes -
When the United States Air Force
set out to replace its aging
trainers, North American was hired to complete the task.
What they presented was the Model NA-159
piston-engine trainer; a design that was so successful
that it was responsible for gaining a contract for two
XT-28 prototypes. After an
evaluation of these prototypes and an initial flight on
September 26, 1949, the Air Force was so impressed that
it ordered production to begin on the newly designated
The Trojan, as
it became known, had a frameless canopy and a Wright
R-1300 engine that, when combined, gave it a top speed
that often exceeded 280 mph. First orders of 266 planes
in 1950 eventually grew to 1,194. After it became
evident that the Air Force had found a very successful
design, the United Sates Navy and Marine Corps adopted
it as well. Two years later, 489 standardized versions (T-28Bs)
were ordered by the Navy, mainly differing from the
T-28A in its use of the more-powerful Wright R-1820-86
engine. Following this, 299 T-28Cs
were produced, which were fitted with an arrester gear
for carrier-deck landing training.
In 1962, North American
began supplying T-28Ds for the
counter-insurgency role. Six under wing hard-points were
added in order for the aircraft to accept a variety of
weapons. The T-28 saw action in both Southeast Asia and
North Africa. The attack trainer version of the T-28D
was called the AT-28D.
France's Sud-Aviation converted over 240 T-28Ds
into Fennecs and used them as
replacements for their Algerian-based T-6s. Fennecs
performed admirably in the close-support, reconnaissance
and patrol roles.
The T-28's service
career, though long, was finally ended by the
introduction of the
turboprop trainer, but the T-28 lives on as one of the
most popular piston-powered Warbirds in the USA, as well
as several other countries.
Engine: One1,425-hp Wright Cyclone R-1820-86 radial
Weight: Empty 6,424 lbs., Max Takeoff
Wing Span: 40ft. 1in.
Length: 33ft. 0in.
Height: 12ft. 8in.
Maximum Speed: 343 mph
Ceiling: 35,500 ft.
Range: 1,060 miles