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The T-28 was originally designed to replace the T-6 Texan trainer for all branches of the military, the Trojan was the heaviest and most powerful piston-engine trainer ever projected for primary training.. It was first flown on September 24, 1949, and entered production in 1950. It was also the first U.S. military trainer to have a tricycle gear. The Navy got their T-28B in 1952, differing in having a more powerful engine to replace the 800hp Wright R-1300, and a two-part canopy, plus structural modifications for duty aboard carriers. For counter-insurgency combat, Trojan was again revised, this time as the single-seat T-28D, with armament and rocket-launchers. As a primary trainer, it was found to be too powerful for new students, and the services had to bring in the Beech T-34 for cadets to get flight instruction for 30 hours before stepping up into the Trojan. When production ended in 1957, a total of 1,948 of these three versions had been built. A few Navy T-28Bs eventually went into the Air Force inventory and a few others were turned over to the U.S. Army.
In 1962, the Air Force began a program to modify more than 200 T-28As as T-28D "Nomad" tactical fighter-bombers for counter-insurgency warfare in Vietnam. Equipped with the larger 1,425 hp. engines and many other changes, the T-28Ds eventually proved to be an effective close air support weapon against enemy ground forces. The South Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) used a number of USAF-supplied T-28Bs in a similar role until the -Ds became available.
The U.S. Navy continued to use the Trojan on until 1987.
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Revised: June 30, 2010