American T-28S Trojan
slightly dated photo of the T-28S housed at MAPS
Background (contributed by James Kohan):
During the early 1950's the French were facing an
uprising in their colony of Algeria. When outright war
began in 1954, the primary aircraft used for ground
attack and close air support missions was the North
American T-6 Texan. While easy to maintain and operate,
the T-6 was highly vulnerable to ground fire and were
limited in how much armament it could carry due to the
high temperatures found in the hot Algerian desert.
By 1959 the French Air Force began looking for a suitable
replacement for the T-6 and turned to the United States.
After studying the aircraft available, the French Air
Force decided on an armed version of the T-28 Trojan.
There was a problem, however, in that all of the current
version being built, the T-28B, were already earmarked
for the U.S. Navy. The French found a solution, however.
In 1958 Pacific Airmotive of Burbank, CA obtained the
rights to build a civil version of the T-28, known as the
Nomad. Pacific Airmotive offered the aircraft with two
different engine options, a 1,300 hp R-1820-56S Wright
Cyclone, or a 1,425 hp R-1820-76A Wright Cyclone.
The French Air Force asked Pacific Airmotive to build
them an example.
ex-U.S. Air Force T-28A was pulled from mothball storage
at Davis Monthan AFB in Arizona and Pacific Airmotive
went to work. The original 800 hp Wright R-1300-1A
engine was removed from the T-28A's and replaced with the
larger Wright R-1820 engine. (NOTE: Since the Navy
contract was also taking all the available new engines,
surplus B-17G engines were rebuilt and used.)
Other changes included adding a three blade Hamilton
Standard propeller, adding 2 underwing gun pods and 2
weapons pylons, increasing ventilation and adding extra
air filters to deal with the sandy desert
with the performance of the upgraded T-28 aircraft, the
French Air Force purchased 147 surplus T-28A's kept in
storage at Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona.
"prototype" T-28S, the other 147 T-28A
airframes, and the rebuilt B-17G engines were then
shipped to Sud Aviation in St. Nazaire, France during
July of 1959. Using Pacific Airmotives prototype as
an example Sud Aviation upgraded the other 147 T-28A
airframes to T-28S specifications.
The T-28S began to be deployed to Algeria in
August 1960, but by the end of 1962 France and Algeria
reached an agreement and combat ended. The remaining
T-28S aircraft returned to France. After French use, many
T-28S were declared surplus and eventually ended up in
use by Morocco, Haiti, Argentina, and Uruguay.
The T-28S located at MAPS Air Museum is in the process of
full restoration to flying condition. Once restored, the
aircraft will be painted in the US Navy's "white and
orange" scheme used for training aircraft. The T-28B
version that France originally wanted to buy remained in
use by the US Navy until 1984.
forward cockpit of the T-28S Trojan photo ©
Span: 40 ft. 7 in.
Length: 32 ft. 6 in.
Height: 12 ft. 7 in.
Armament: Two twin 12.7mm machine gun pods plus
1000 lbs of bombs or rockets
Engines: One Wright R-1820-56S of 1,300 hp
Wright engine used on the T-28S Trojan
right landing gear
before reconstruction photo ©
right landing gear after
restoration photo © Gary
restored landing gear
back on aircraft photo ©
Maximum speed: 346 mph.
Cruising speed: 230 mph.
Range: 1,060 miles
Service Ceiling: 37,000 ft.
Chief: Paul Gates