Home RC Airplane Reviews Airfield T-28 Trojan Review
Airfield T-28 Trojan Review Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 21 June 2011 21:21


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 and has a service ceiling of 39,000 ft.




Intro

My thumbs were seasoned on a Trojan. Back in the day I started on a Hobby Zone Super Cub, but after a month I hungered for more so I upgraded to the Parkzone T-28 Trojan. For years that was my plane of choice, the “go to” plane whenever I needed to test out a new flying field or wanted to warm up my thumbs. Over time I grew as a pilot and the Trojan was being used less and less. Sadly a few months back I sold my old friend and he has never been seen again. I was excited when I found out Airfield and a few other companies were releasing the T-28 since the model is a proven design. When the Airfield version reached the states I quickly ordered one.

   

Kit Contents

For the review I bought the Almost-Ready-to-Fly version which not only included the airplane, but it also included a 50 amp ESC, 500kv motor, 12 servos, electric retracts w/gear doors all pre-installed. The kit comes with a 3-bladed prop and spinner, mounting hardware for the control horns and wings, a screwdriver, glue, a bundle of wires and a small sequencer chip for the gear and gear doors. Everything came tightly packed inside the box and was protected by a plethora of plastic. The only thing I needed to add was my own receiver and 4S battery.

   

Assembly

As time goes on I am constantly amazed at the quality and build time of the FMS/Airfield models. I have put together a fair handful of models from them and it seems to be getting easier and better with each new release.

I started the build by attaching the control horns to the wings for the ailerons and flaps. The horns included in the kit are larger than other 1400mm warbirds by Airfield and this makes installing them even easier. I hope this is a trend they continue. After the wings were done I installed the horns for the elevators and rudder.

   

The only gluing needed on the plane is in the joints of the rudder and elevator. I first test fitted both pieces onto the rear of the fuselage and it was an excellent, tight fit. So tight it was difficult to remove! The kit includes glue, but I rarely/never use the supplied glue. It is very gooey, takes a long time to set and I’m not sure about its ‘holding’ ability. For the tail I used 5 minute epoxy which works great and holds the plane together like Superman stuck to superglue.

 

With the tail done I positioned the wings and threaded the receiver wires through the holes in the bottom of the fuselage. The wings have two carbon spars that easily slip through the plane into each other. I love the wing design; it feels very secure and strong. The wings are pulled together with two plastic brackets and the whole operation is held tight to the body with 4 long, metal screws. It was one of the better wing designs for a foamy that I have come across; I wish Airfield would have thought of this design for some of their earlier birds like the P-40.

   

 

The plane was basically done once the wings were on except for the rat’s nest of receiver wires. The instructions included in the box are worthless and even though each wire is labeled (nice touch!) there is still some confusion as to where the sequencer falls into the mix. So to avoid further confusion the wires for the Airfield Trojan go like this:

CH1 – Ailerons
CH2 - Elevator (and lights)
CH3 – Throttle
CH4 - Rudder (and lights)
CH5 - Gear wires into sequencer
CH5B – Retract
CH5C - Door
CH6 – FLAPS

The extra wires for the lights tripped me out since they plugged into the elevator and rudder channel, but everything worked perfectly.

The sequencer is unlabeled so to get the correct order for the gear wires, hold it so the dark brown wire on the sequencer is facing down. On the bottom 3 prongs the CH5-C ‘y’ harness attaches (with the dark brown wires facing down) and on the top 3 prongs the CH5-B ‘y’ harness attaches (See Pic Below).

 

After all the wires are attached and plugged into the receiver make sure all of the servos are centered before attaching the control rods to the servo horns. The kit comes with a small baggie of clear rubber bands. Slip one of these bands over the clevis before attaching it to the control horn. Clip the clevis into the horn and slide the band to the end for added security!

Assemble the prop so the painted edges face forward; slip it on the shaft, secure it with the hub and the T-28 Trojan is finished!

   

Features

The Airfield Trojan features very scale looks with lights, gear doors, cowl flaps, wing flaps and strong EPO foam holding everything together. The foam is smooth for being EPO and looks great. The shiny silver version is fantastic up close and in the air as well as the flat gray scheme used for this review. As a whole the plane feels very ‘big’ on the ground and is impressive all around. The sequenced gear doors and retracts are smooth and fit really well. The doors are flush when closed and the doors themselves are made out of stiffer plastic.

A really nice feature of the Trojan is the fact that the battery tray is located in the center of the plane and that is can accommodate a large variety of battery sizes. This is perfect for pilots that have a variety of batteries and aren’t limited as to what they can use. For this review I used 2200mah Sky Lipo and 3000mah Blue Lipo batteries of varying sizes. All batteries fit well and balanced the plane without a problem.

   

First Flight

The weather was perfect the evening of the Trojan’s first flight. We were blessed with practically zero wind, blue skies, sun and green grass. I felt confident going into the maiden flight as the Trojan felt very sturdy and with the stock power plant pulling 43 amps on 630 watts I knew the bird had enough oomph to fly. The CG was a bit forward of the 85mm suggested in the manual, around the 80-82 mark. For the first flight I used a 4S 2200mah 30C battery pushed all the way forward in the central battery tray. The mess of wires and esc were pushed in the nose as far as they could be.

With all the preflight checks out of the way I set the Trojan on the runway, throttled up and watched her barrel down the tarmac. With a little elevator the T-28 popped off the runway like a hot kernel on a stovetop. Climbing out with ease I flipped the switch on the gear and the plane settled in. There was a bit of a left roll, but after a few clicks of right trim the plane was straight and true.

After going through a few gentle circuits I turned up the throttle to see what the Trojan could do. The T-28 is no speed demon and I was a little disappointed with the top end speed. Normal flight is fine at ½ throttle but there doesn’t seem to be huge difference from ¾ to full throttle. All of the control throws were set on the outmost (tamest) hole and I soon decided that the rudder and ailerons could benefit from more throw. The roll rate was gentle and a bit slow for my liking, and the rudder can definitely use more throw. After a few rolls and loops I did some inverted flying and found the Trojan to be very well balanced while upside down. Depending on battery placement the Trojan needs only a little down elevator to stay inverted.

   

After 4 minutes of flight time I dropped the gear and brought the T-28 down in one piece.

A very successful maiden!

Flight Characteristics

The Airfield T-28 Trojan has superb flight characteristics. On the stock control settings, the airplane flies really well and somewhat docile. If more performance is sought, the control surfaces can be amplified with more throw and the Trojan will respond brilliantly. After the 3rd flight I moved the clevis’ to the 3rd notch for the rudder and ailerons and it really gave the plane some movement! For my style of flying it was much better. The roll rate was crisp and snappy and the increased rudder throw gave a noticeable change for turns and dealing with crosswinds on landings.

Inverted flying is excellent and easy to do on the Trojan. Low speed passes look beautiful with the red and white prop spinning freely on the front of the plane. Tip stalls on the T-28 Trojan seem to be virtually non-existent. After taking the plane up high, killing the throttle and pulling back on the elevator I was surprised that the wings did not rock at all. The T-28 just slowly drifted towards the ground. This is an extremely well balanced plane.

The flaps and cowl flaps are not only cool features but they are useful for slowing the plane down. When most flaps are deployed on model airplanes the plane will ‘balloon’ before slowing down. Amazingly the Trojan does not have this affect. With the flaps down the aircraft almost immediately slows down in a soft, predictable manner. Landing with the flaps deployed is not only scale, but makes the task very easy.

 

Takeoffs and Landings

The Airfield Trojan needs more runway than I would have anticipated, but when the airplane is up to speed it practically jumps into the arms of the sky. The good news is the plane does not have a tendency to torque roll either way while on the ground; the tripod landing gear keeps everything running straight and true. Even though the wheels feel big enough, taking off from grass might be tricky as there is not a lot of ground clearance for the prop.

 

Landing the Airfield Trojan is as easy as 1-2-3 LAND! I generally don’t use flaps when landing and the T-28 doesn’t need the installed flaps to land, but I have discovered it lands so much nicer with the flaps down. The Trojan’s wheels must be greased with super slick grease because the plane likes to roll and roll and roll. Deploying the flaps and coming in slower severely shortens the amount of roll time after a landing. This is not a big deal if you have a place to turn the plane around, but the landing strip at the club is fairly narrow and so the choice is to either run into the grass or keep on rollin’.

   

Is This Plane For a Beginner?

Most likely not a new beginner, but someone that is looking for aileron experience could handle the Trojan. The T-28 is bigger so please give yourself ample room to fly and keep the control surfaces soft until you develop better skills.

Conclusion

The Airfield Trojan T-28 is an airplane that is jammed packed full of features and yet does not feel overdone. The plane flies without any bad habits and balances perfectly on a variety of batteries. The power of the plane was slightly less than I had hoped for, but there is still plenty of juice to pull good pilots out of bad situations. The cowl flaps, lights and landing gear make the whole package so much nicer and a joy to fly night or dusk. The foam and build quality of the plane is strong and I feel confident knowing how secure everything is while high up in the sky. The Airfield T-28 Trojan from Nitroplanes is a sure winner.

GRADE: A-

Pros

  • Strong Build and Foam
  • Loaded with Details and Features
  • 3 different paint schemes to choose from
  • Able to use a variety of battery sizes
  • So fun to fly low on the deck with the big beautiful prop spinning

Neutrals

  • Instructions are pretty useless
  • Same old pilot from other Airfield Birds…could use an upgrade
  • Probably not the best plane for grass with the low prop clearance

Cons

  • A little gouge on the fuselage from packing

 

 Media & Flight Time!

   

   

   

   

   


 
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