Tuesday, May 09, 2006


My wife Anjali, asked me if there was more information that I could provide my readers about the T-28 Airplanes that I mentioned in my previous article. I have a bit of info and will share the same here. There used to be a company called as the North American Aviation (NAA) in the United States of America, known to be designers and producers of many legendary Aircraft during the Second World War such as the P-51 Mustang (one of the sweetest engine sounds I have ever heard on any airplane) (T-28 Trojan flying over So. California)
and B-25 bombers. The same company started building, during and after the war, an Aircraft designed for use by the US Navy (US Air Force picked up the early version I believe) which was to succeed an earlier military trainer called as the “Texan”.

The T-28 was named as the “Trojan” and was used as a trainer and multi role Aircraft in the fifties. Various versions were produced. The US Air Force used a version called the “A” model. The USN used the “B” model that came with a huge9-cylinder radial engine capable of 1425 HP! Another version with a tail hook was built for taking off and landing on Aircraft carriers. The T-28F version was shipped to France and they used the Aircraft with great success in North Africa (Algeria) in the 1960s.

Some warbirds never die and that's great for us aviation officianados. Since the mid 1980s, these Aircraft have entered the civilian warbird market. In the US, these Airplanes are owned privately and need extensive training before one gets the certificate to fly it. These Airplanes are only for experimental flights/exhibition flights as they are called. No commercial flights are allowed for revenue. The T-28s that I saw all had private owners and maintained by Chuck Smith of C&J Aircraft, Camarillo Airport, California.

Chuck is an accomplished T-28 pilot, instructor and maintenance organization all rolled into one. On nice sunny days, he is known to be flying along the beach in Southern California, scaring the local populace (kidding). The Airplanes sit really tall on the tarmac and look very imposing. They are loud, considering the big pistons going up and down the 9 cylinders in front of the Airplane. The fuel they use is Avgas 100LL (Low Lead). The Airplane is capable of taking off in less than 800 feet and climbing at the rate of 3,000 feet per minute-that’s great for a non-jet, vintage airplane.

Chuck has promised me a flight in one of his T-28s, the next time I am in his neck of the woods. I suspect that in late May, I will be there again and will take Chuck up on his offer. Look for a blog on my experiences at that time.


Vijendra Rao said...

Another good one. Thanks. Looks we will miss you for the next gathering of mymysore.com, too.

Nietzche said...

Thanks for the interesting read, Captain.

Is it out of reverence that you capitalize mid-sentence, words such as 'aircraft' and 'airplane'?

Blog-Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Maybe out of reverence! Actually, I took less than ten minutes to write this and publish it, during a short break. Sometimes what happens is that I don't go back and read it enough times to see errors or bad wordings. Most of the time, I am just writing what my mind is telling me. Maybe the reverential aspect is submliminal in nature! Thanks for your comments nietzche and keep them coming.

Blog-Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Yes Mr. Vijendra, I am afraid I am not going to make it to the next forum meet. What is happening now, with my program, is all unplanned stuff. Did not think that I would end up in Singapore till July end with trips back and forth to other countries without touching India.

I have no complaints, though, because I am working and enjoying what I do best.

Govindraj Ethiraj said...

Hi Capt

Saw your comments on the Rajkumar issue..glad you made it safely to Bangalore airport that night.

We do need better feeder airports, imagine if you could fly feeder to Bangalore and out..which is what our minister of civil aviation keeps saying. Almost 60% of traffic is in two airports and the rest are empty, almost !

I remember reading your earlier posts on Mysore airport, so hopefully that project will get going, like so many others !

I passed through Shanghai's Pudong International two weeks ago. They have two runways there and are building three more.

And they have a target of 60 million passengers a year in 3 years !!!!! The older Shanghai airport already has two runways.

And finally, your descriptions are terrific. You might have people like me lining up outside your house wanting to accompany you on your next trip !



Blog-Capt. Anup Murthy said...

I have been out of Mysore so long, don't know whats happening with that project. I wish some of my Mysore readers could please update us on this, whether this has made any further news locally?

Thanks Mr. Govind, for your kind comments. I don't know what my style of writing is. I just put down what comes naturally and don't spend time re-reading or editing. This is more like a traveling journal. I am glad you like it. I looed all over Singapore for Alexander Frater's book "Beyond.." and did not find it but one book store has ordered for it, on my behalf and I should get the copy in a week's time. No use looking for it in India because I won't be back till end July.

Blog-Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Mr. Govind mentioned Mysore Airport project. There was a news item that appeared in a local daily in Mysore that i read today on the 16th of May. Frustrated at funny statements made by state government officials, I wrote a new blog piece that is about the Mysore Airport fiasco.