RALPH “SKYDOC” GLASSER’S T28 TROJAN

RALPH “SKYDOC” GLASSER’S T28 TROJAN


US Specialty Insurance Company


History:
INITIALLY CONCEIVED AS THE NEXT GENERATION TRAINER TO REPLACE THE T-6 TEXAN, THE 800 HP T28A WAS INTRODUCED BY THE USAF IN 1949. IT WAS UNDERPOWERED BUT ADEQUATELY SIMULATED OPERATIONAL CONDITIONS OF THE ANEMIC EARLY JET AIRCRAFT.
THE USN PURCHASED THE 1425 HP B AND C (TAILHOOK) MODELS 1954-56. THE HIGHER POWER TOTALLY TRANSFORMED THIS AIRCRAFT INTO A STELLAR PERFORMER!

IT IS A COMPLEX AIRCRAFT WITH FOUR ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS, DUAL POWER INVERTERS WITH AC INSTRUMENTS, HYDRAULIC-POWERED CANOPY, SPEED BRAKE, FLAPS AND GEAR. PNEUMATIC CANOPY BACK-UP SYSTEM. DUAL TANK OXYGEN SYSTEM GOOD FOR 12 HOURS AT ALTITUDE, UP TO 39,000 FEET. LIMITATIONS +6/-4 G’S, LATER REDUCED TO +4.5/-3 FOR SAFETY.

THE D-MODEL WAS CONVERTED (A MODELS BECAME D-5, B-MODELS BECAME D-10) FOR COMBAT WITH THE BIG ENGINE, SIX HARD-POINTS ON THE WINGS, GUN PACKAGES, INTERNAL AMMO BAYS, ARMOR PLATING, AND THE ROCKET-POWERED YANKEE EXTRACTION SYSTEM FOR LOW-ALTITUDE BAIL-OUT CAPABILITY.

THE T28 WAS EMPLOYED BY THE US NAVY FOR ADVANCED MANEUVERS (FORMATION/AEROBATICS/INSTRUMENT FLIGHT/COMBAT MANEUVERS/AIRCRAFT CARRIER OPS), IN 1961 IT WAS SELECTED AS OUR FIRST COMBAT AIRCRAFT FOR VIETNAM 12/26/61 (OPERATION JUNGLE JIM/FARM GATE)ALONG WITH THE A-26 INVADER. A VIETNAMESE NATIONAL WAS PLACED IN THE BACK SEAT TO “APPROVE TARGETS” TO LEGITIMIZE OUR EARLY ROLE AS “ADVISORS”. USED BY THE RAVENS IN COVERT OPS IN LAOS AND BY SEVERAL OTHER NATIONS IN COMBAT. RETIRED BY US FORCES IN THE 1980′S AFTER 12 MILLION FLIGHT HOURS WITH AN AIRFRAME FAILURE RATE OF APPROXIMATELY ONE AIRCRAFT PER 1 MILLION FLIGHT HOURS.

THIS PARTICULAR AIRCRAFT (BUN 138339) WAS FLOWN 11,000 HOURS BY THE USN FROM 1955 THROUGH 1978. IT SERVED PRIMARILY AT PENSACOLA AND ITS OUTLYING FIELDS, BUT SERVED TWO YEARS AT MARINE CORPS STATION KANEOHE BAY, HAWAII, DURING WHICH TIME IT LOGGED A DOCUMENTED 150 TOUCH AND GO LANDINGS ON CARRIERS! IT HAD ELEVEN ENGINE CHANGES DURING THAT TIME.

STORED AT DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB TUCSON FROM 1978-1989, HELD IN RESERVE FOR THE USN MUSEUM AT PENSACOLA. IT WAS RELEASED IN A BATCH OF FIVE AIRCRAFT IN TRADE FOR A WING FOR A PBY CATALINA PROJECT. IT CHANGED HANDS THREE TIMES ON PAPER BEFORE I ACQUIRED IT AT THE BONEYARD IN AUGUST 1989. INITIAL AIRWORTHINESS CERTIFICATION PERFORMED BY JOHN GASHO, WESTERN INTERNATIONAL AVIATION TUCSON, OCTOBER 1989.

ENGINE (CARBURETOR) FAILURE DECEMBER 1, 1990. COMPLETE GROUND-UP RESTORATION COMPLETED BY BOB GRANT, GREAT AMERICAN AIRCRAFT, TORRANCE CA, OCTOBER 1991. GRAND CHAMPION WARBIRD SUN N FUN 1992, BEST T28 OSHKOSH 1992.

I HAVE PERFORMED AT AIRSHOWS IN THIS AIRCRAFT SINCE 1992, INCLUDING EVERY OSHKOSH SHOW (EXCEPT 1999-2ND ENGINE FAILURE), AND SERVED AS FLIGHT LEADER FOR THE BIG WING FORMATIONS FOR OVER TEN YEARS. FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE TROJAN HORSEMEN AIRSHOW DEMO TEAM AS #5 WINGMAN AND LEAD ACRO PILOT. WWW.TROJANHORSEMEN.COM

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Specifications

Registration Number Date of Manufacture
N28XT BUN 138339 OCTOBER 1955
Aircraft Role Nickname
Trainer 1ST US COMBAT AIRCRAFT IN VIETNAM 12/26/61 “WHAT’S UP DOC”
Aircraft Type: Wingspan:
North American T-28 “Trojan” 40 feet 1 inches
Overall length: Empty weight:
33 feet 6424 pounds
Gross weight: Fuel capacity:
8500 + 2000 LBS ON PYLONS 1060 POUNDS
Oil capacity Engine type:
12.2 GALLONS 1425 HP CURTIS-WRIGHT R-1820-86B
Propeller type: Max Speed
HAMILTON STANDARD 3 BLADE 342 KTS
Rate of Climb Cruise Speed
4000 FT/MIN 280 KTS AT 25,000′ 70% POWER
Service Ceiling Number of Crew
39,000 feet Two
Armament Bomb Load
SIX PYLONS (BOMBS/ROCKETS) PLUS .30/.50/20MM GUN PACKAGES 2000 LBS MAX
Number Built Number Surviving
2232 150+

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Photos

TROJAN HORSEMEN SKYDOC AND SKIDS OPPOSING PASS WITH ROLL AT SHOW CENTER

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Restoration
STORED IN THE DESERT BONEYARD, DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB, TUCSON, FROM 1978-1989. LONG-TERM STORAGE WITH SPRAY-LAT (LATEX PAINT) COVERING ENTIRE AIRFRAME. ENGINE STORED IN A CAN, PROPS AND ACCESSORIES IN A BOX. REMOVED FROM STORAGE AUGUST 1989 AND AIRWORTHINESS AND REGISTRATION PERFORMED BY JOHN GASHO, WESTERN INTERNATIONAL AVIATION, TUCSON. FLOWN TO GREAT AMERICAN AIRCRAFT IN TORRANCE CA FOR AN EXTENSIVE INSPECTION, STRIPPING OF PAINT, AND COMPONENT OVERHAUL. AFTER 27 HOURS OF FLIGHT TIME THE NEWLY OVERHAULED CARBURETOR SUFFERED AN INTERNAL FAILURE AND ENGINE QUIT ON TAKE-OFF. MADE THE TURN BACK TO THE AIRPORT BUT CAME UP 15′ SHORT OF A TAXIWAY. WALKED AWAY BUT THE PLANE REQUIRED TOTAL GROUND-UP RESTORATION BY BOB GRANT AT GREAT AMERICAN. THAT IS WHEN I PROCURED A NEW D-WING, BUILT FOR VIETNAM COMBAT AND STORED IN A CRATE IN RENO NV. THIS LED TO ITS RESTORATION AS A USAF D-10 FROM THE 4400TH COMBAT CREW TRAINING SQUADRON, EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE 1961, JUST BEFORE THESE PLANES WENT TO VIETNAM AS OUR FIRST COMBAT AIRCRAFT – JINGLE JIM/OPERATION FARM GATE IN DECEMBER 1961.

THIS AIRCRAFT UNDERWENT COMPLETE DISASSEMBLY TO COMPONENT PARTS, EVERY PART NEW OR RESTORED TO AS NEW CONDITION, AND WON GRAND CHAMPION WARBIRD (THE LAST SUCH AWARD BEFORE GRAND CHAMPION WAS DIVIDED INTO PRE- AND POST-WW2 CATEGORIES).

IT IS CURRENTLY MAINTAINED BY THE EXPERTS AT HERITAGE AERO INC IN ROCKFORD IL.


Restoration Images

STORES-ABOARD
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Links
http://www.TROJANHORSEMEN.COM

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