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Parkzone Trojan T-28 Review



History

The North American Aviation T-28 Trojan was 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. On September 24, 1949, the T-28 was flown for the first time, designed to replace the T-6 Texan. Found satisfactory, a contract was issued and between 1950 and 1957, a total of 1,948 were built. The plane could hold a crew of two with its 40 foot wingspan. It had a max takeoff weight of 8,500 lbs and was powered by a 1,424HP 1× Wright R-1820-86 Cyclone radial engine that could reach a max speed of 340mph.



Intro

After a month in the RC flying realm I was already looking for a new plane. It seems the Hobby Zone Super Cub had given me a fever and the only thing that would cure it was more airplanes! The truth is I was quickly outgrowing the Super Cub and wanted something with ailerons that was more agile and powerful yet still forgiving. I did some research and although several people were pushing me towards a high-wing aileron trainer I felt I was ready for the next step and went for the low-wing Parkzone Trojan T-28. Exactly one month after first maidening my Super Cub, I was putting my money down on a new T-28.

Kit Contents

Having just purchased a Spektrum Dx7 Radio I opted to go with the Plug n Play version of the T-28. The kit comes nearly 90% complete and almost ready to fly. Already preinstalled are the motor, esc and servos for the ailerons, rudder and elevator. The only thing that needs to be added is a receiver for your transmitter.

Assembly

It doesn’t take much time or effort to assemble the Parkzone T-28. If you posses a screwdriver and some fingers you can have the model ready for flight in about 20 minutes. The elevator slips into the back of the model and is secured in place with clear tape. I decided to use a little beefier packing tape since the tape that is provided seems very thin and wimpy. No one wants a wimpy elevator when you’re high in the sky. After the control rods (preinstalled) are attached to the elevator, steering wheel and rudder; the wing is the only thing standing between you and flying the Trojan. Fortunately installing the wings is a simple process, perhaps a little too simple…but more on that later. The wings have two tabs that are slipped into the fuselage and a large screw that holds everything together. After the wings are installed the landing gear is easily clicked into place and the plane is ready for showtime!


Features

One of the nice features of the T-28 is the steerable nose wheel. I feel that Parkzone could’ve taken the easy way out and had a stationary front gear, but they took the time to design one that steers. With the Tricycle style gear the plane is easy to land.

First Flight

Since this was my first aileron plane I was a bit nervous for the maiden. I knew this plane was a healthy step up from the Super Cub and although I had practiced for hours on the Sim I was unsure what to expect for my first time up. In addition my usual flying field(s) were being used by track and field teams (dang sports always ruining my fun) so I ended up at a smaller field behind a middle school that was lined with 200 foot tall pine trees.

I brought the Trojan out and did all my pre-flight checks, Shaky Thumbs was there as well as two other friends. You are probably jealous thinking I have so many good friends taking interest in my hobby but in truth they were there only to see me crash. Once my checks were done it was GO time.

I throttled up and without much hesitation the Trojan sprang off the pavement like a flea on a cat’s back. She climbed nicely and with authority past the tops of the tall trees. I did a few circuits and only needed a few clicks of trim to get the T-28 to flight straight and true. High above my head I played with the roll rate and felt the Trojan had nice crisp control. The roll rate was not too fast and not too slow, just the right amount for a pilot new to ailerons like myself. After a couple of minutes of lazy flying I felt brave and began trying stall turns, inverted flying, loops and rolls. Everything worked flawlessly.

After a few more minutes it was time to land and I gave myself plenty of runway since I knew the plane would come in hotter than a high wing bird. The plane came down gently on all three landing gear. I was thrilled and my friends were disappointed to see the plane still in one piece, fortunately for them my 2nd flight was much more dramatic.

Flight Characteristics

The Parkzone Trojan is a sweet flying airplane that has no bad habits or tendencies. The plane is very stable through the air and the motor provides plenty of power to handle stronger winds. Turning up the throws in the ailerons and rudder can turn the plane from a gentle trainer to fairly aerobatic plane! This is quite a nice surprise for anyone that has flown this plane. Lots of room to grow with the T-28.

Takeoffs and Landings

Takeoffs are a thing of beauty with the Trojan. Scale takeoffs are easy and with almost no elevator input the plane can be sent to the sky. If you’re short on space the Trojan can takeoff in just 8-10 feet in even bumpy conditions. Can you throw a paper airplane? Do you have an opposable thumb? Then you too can hand launch the Parkzone T-28. The Trojan slows down nicely with no tip-stalling which is very good for landing. With the tricycle landing gear landings are forgiving and easier than a tail dragger. Landing in grass will sometimes result in a nose over, with short enough grass you can grease the landing but due to the size of the wheels most takeoffs and landings should be done from a hard surface such as concrete, dirt or a tin roof (for advanced pilots only).

Aerobatics

The Trojan is a fairly aerobatic plane and capable of handling rolls, loops and inverted flying without much effort. Inside and outside loops are simple and even 4-point turns are doable with the large rudder. I love flying the Trojan inverted but some down elevator is needed to keep the plane in level flight. With this plane I enjoy climbing up to a stall turn and coming back straight down towards the ground in a dive only to pull out just before the Trojan meets its doom. The plane gives you complete control and never feels very ‘loose’.

Is This Plane For a Beginner?

The Parkzone T-28 is very stable and a great aileron trainer. I know some people believe in using a high wing trainer when it comes to your first aileron plane, but this plane is so forgiving I’d highly recommend it. As for an absolute beginner it might feel a little fast or feel like a handful but I’ve heard from several people that they used this plane to teach them how to fly and it worked perfectly. The plane can really take a beating and is easily repairable if you happen to break something. I think without much effort beginner could fly this plane. I know my lovely assistant who is a beginner herself has flown it on several occasions and it wasn’t too much to handle.

Wing Attachment

This may seem like I am nit picking, and maybe I am but one minor downfall of Parkzone’s design is how the wing attaches to the fuselage of the airplane. I have now owned my Trojan for over a year and a half and I’ll admit there have been a few mishaps in that time. Even in minor mishaps I’ve had the wings rip right out. The whole wing is basically held on by one screw. There are two nubs sticking out of the trailing edge of the wing that slide into the fuselage. I think it would’ve been better had the wings been attached with two or 4 screws rather than just one. After a crash and repair I’ve found the wing never feels as secure as before so I’ve grown accustomed to taping the leading and trailing edge of the wing where it sits flush in the fuselage. Not a big deal, but hurts the scale looks of the plane a little bit.

Conclusion

The Parkzone T-28 Trojan is a wonderful flying plane. Great power to perform maneuvers, good control and very stable all around. The Trojan was my first aileron airplane and surprisingly she is still in my hangar and gets flown fairly often. I have much more advanced planes that I fly but if there is one plane in my hangar that is the Old Yeller of the bunch, it’s the Trojan. I have flown this plane several hundred times and crashed her a few times but she just keeps on flying, I can’t say that for other planes that I’ve owned. If you’re looking for a good aileron trainer or a solid 2nd or 3rd plane the PZ Trojan is for you.

Rating: A+

Pros

  • Excellent build quality made out of Z foam
  • Upgraded 30 amp ESC
  • Steerable Nose wheel
  • Good power
  • Looks great in the air and on the ground
  • Fairly Aerobatic Plane


  • Neutrals

The wing attachment could be made stronger, prone to breaking if a crash occurs.

  • The elevator stab is a bit weak, I’ve had two come apart at the hinge, easy to fix with tape, but slightly annoying.

Cons

  • None….seriously.



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