Tuesday, May 09, 2006
NORTH AMERICAN T-28 TROJAN
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.