T-28 Trojan restoration to flight status
September 29, 2017
The well known North American T-28 Trojan is a piston-engine military trainer aircraft used as a counter-insurgency aircraft during the Vietnam War. It has continued in civilian use as an aerobatics and Warbird performer.
Such a classic beauty couldn’t be absent from the Team’s inventory. Although not a pure aerobatic Warbird, nevertheless an ARF bird made by ESM was added 4 years ago to the fleet.
The specs as given by the manufacturer are:
Wing Span: 81″ (2057 mm)
Length: 63.5″(1613 mm)
Wing area: 7.55 sq. ft (70.12 sq. dm)
Wing Loading: 3 9.5 oz/sq. ft (117 g/sq. dm)
Flying Weight: 18 lbs (8.2kg)
Radio: 6ch & 8 servos
Gas Engine: 36cc – 55cc engines such as the PTE36 or the DLE-55.
Glow Engine: 180 4-cycle
Prop Recommendations: 3-blade is most common. 2 and 4 blades were also used.
Servo Recommendations: 100 oz-sq-in minimum – HD-1501, Hitec 645MG, Hitec 5645MG, DS-8309TG
An air retract system was installed, controlled by an ON-OFF switch on the HITEC AURORA 9X radio.
The T-28 operated problem- free for enough time, but when the bigger birds came in (PITTS Model 12, scale 35% & YAK 54, scale 37,5%) it was put to storage in order to be re-enabled in the future. Below are some photos from a Sunday morning in Prosotsani, Drama, Greece at the Ultra lights airfield that we are using among others.
The time for the T-28 to return to active service has come! A refreshment was more than necessary. A thorough check of everything was a MUST. A new receiver was added. In this case an Optima 7 channel 2.4 GHZ made by Hitec that bonds ideally with the HITEC AURORA 9X radio.
Three Li-po batteries were put onboard with different duties such as power of the lighting system (Strobes and Navigation), receiver’s power and engine’s electronic ignition power.
The power plant on board is a DLE 35A.
The engine’s specs as given by DLE are:
Displacement: 34.9 cc (2.13 cu in)
Bore: 1.52 in (38.5 mm)
Stroke: 1.18 in (30 mm)
Total Weight: 2.77 lb (1.26 kg)
RPM Range: 1,500-8,500
Output: 4.1 hp @ 8,500 rpm
The fuel lines were rechecked, rudder pull-pull wires were replaced with new ones, the hinges inspected, air retracts system tested, free movement of AILERONS, FLAPS, ELEVATORS, RUDDER & THROTTLE was checked and the 19×10 size propeller painted black with yellow tips.
Finally it was time for an engine start up.
The cowl was taken off for easier access to the power plant, an improvised anchor (a belt tied to a tree trunk) and two cement bricks as chocks were applied and the trustworthy engine didn’t hesitate at all. Just a few revolutions of the propeller it was all it needed for fuel to be sucked in to the rear facing Walbro.
The DLE came to life with a steady idle. A minute later the throttle was advanced. The handheld tachometer showed more than satisfying readings, such as idle at 1350 Rpm and 6680 Rpm at full throttle, the engine equipped with a Pitts style muffler. The T-28 was put back on its cradle, waiting for the next weekend to meet the skies again!