North American T-28 Trojan

The North American Aviation T-28 Trojan is a piston-engined military trainer aircraft used by the United States Air Force and United States Navy beginning in the 1950s. Besides its use as a trainer, the T-28 was successfully employed as a Counter-insurgency (COIN) aircraft, primarily during the Vietnam War.

North American T-28 Trojan
Class Aircraft
Type Trainer
Manufacturer North American Aviation
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1949
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Argentina View
Bolivia View
Brazil View
Congo (Zaire) View
Cuba View
Dominican Republic View
Ecuador View
Ethiopia View
France View
Haiti View
Honduras View
Japan View
Laos View
Mexico View
Morocco View
Nicaragua View
Philippines View
South Korea View
Thailand (Siam) View
Tunisia View
United States of America 1950 1984 View
United States of America View
Uruguay View
Vietnam View
Taiwan View
Democratic Republic of the Congo View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
North American Aviation 1951 View
On September 24, 1949, the XT-28 (company designation NA-159) was flown for the first time, designed to replace the T-6 Texan. The T-28A arrived at the Air Proving Ground, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in mid-June 1950, for suitability tests as an advanced trainer by the 3200th Fighter Test Squadron, with consideration given to its transition, instrument, and gunnery capabilities. Found satisfactory, a contract was issued and between 1950 and 1957, a total of 1,948 were built.

Following the T-28's withdrawal from U.S. military service, a number were remanufactured by Hamilton Aircraft into two versions called the Nomair. The first refurbished machines, designated T-28R-1 were similar to the standard T-28s they were adapted from, and were supplied to the Brazilian Navy. Later, a more ambitious conversion was undertaken as the T-28R-2, which transformed the two-seat tandem aircraft into a five-seat cabin monoplane for general aviation use. Other civil conversions of ex-military T-28As were undertaken by PacAero as the Nomad Mark I and Nomad Mark II


  • XT-28
  • T-28A
  • T-28B
  • T-28C
  • T-28D Nomad
  • Fairchild AT-28D
  • YAT-28E
  • T-28S Fennec
  • T-28P
  • T-28R Nomair
  • T-28R-1 Nomair I
  • T-28R-2 Nomair II
  • RT-28

After becoming adopted as a primary trainer by the USAF, the United States Navy and Marine Corps adopted it as well. Although the Air Force phased out the aircraft from primary pilot training by the early 1960s, continuing use only for limited training of special operations aircrews and for primary training of select foreign military personnel, the aircraft continued to be used as a primary trainer by the Navy (and by default, the Marine Corps and Coast Guard) well into the early 1980s.

The largest single concentration of this aircraft was employed by the U.S. Navy at NAS Whiting Field in Milton, Florida, in the training of student naval aviators. The T-28's service career in the U.S. military ended with the completion of the phase-in of the T-34C turboprop trainer. The last U.S. Navy training squadron to fly the T-28 was VT-27, based at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, flying the last T-28 training flight in early 1984. The last T-28 in the Training Command, BuNo 137796, departed for Naval District Washington on 14 March 1984 to be displayed permanently at Naval Support Facility Anacostia, D.C. Many T-28s were subsequently sold to private civil operators, and due to their reasonable operating costs are often found flying as warbirds today.

In September 2011, a T-28 Trojan stunt team lost one of its aircraft and crew during an air show in Martinsburg, West Virginia. No other casualties were reported.

Vietnam War

In 1963, a Royal Lao Air Force T-28 piloted by Lieutenant Chert Saibory, a Thai national, defected to North Vietnam. Saibory was immediately imprisoned and his aircraft was impounded. Within six months the T-28 was refurbished and commissioned into the North Vietnamese Air Force as its first fighter aircraft.

T-28s were supplied to the South Vietnamese Air Force in support of ARVN ground operations, seeing extensive service during the Vietnam War in VNAF hands, as well as the Secret War in Laos. A T-28 Trojan was the first US fixed wing attack aircraft (non-transport type) lost in South Vietnam, during the Vietnam War. Capt. Robert L. Simpson, USAF, Detachment 2A, lst Air Commando Group, and Lt. Hoa, SVNAF, were shot down by ground fire on August 28, 1962 while flying close air support. Neither crewman survived. The USAF lost 23 T-28s to all causes during the war, with the last two losses occurring in 1968.

Other uses

T-28s were also used by the CIA in the former Belgian Congo during the 1960s.France used locally re-manufactured Trojans for close support missions in Algeria. The Philippines utilized T-28s (colloquially known as "Tora-toras") during the 1989 Philippine coup attempt, the aircraft were often deployed as dive bombers by rebel forces.

AeroVironment has modified and armored a T-28A to fly weather research for South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, funded by the National Science Foundation.

Role Trainer aircraft
Manufacturer North American Aviation
First flight 24 September 1949
Retired 1994 Philippine Air Force 
Primary users United States Air Force
United States Navy
South Vietnamese Air Force
French Air Force
Produced 1950–57
Number built 1948
Developed from North American XSN2J
Developed into AIDC T-CH-1

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two
  • Length: 33 ft 0 in (10.06 m)
  • Wingspan: 40 ft 1 in (12.22 m)
  • Height: 12 ft 8 in (3.86 m)
  • Wing area: 268 ft (24.9 m)
  • Empty weight: 6,424 lb (2,914 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 8,500 lb (3,856 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 x Wright R-1820-86 Cyclone radial engine, 1,425 hp (1,063 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 343 mph (552 km/h)
  • Service ceiling 35,500 ft (10,820 m)

End notes