NORTH AMERICAN AVIATION
T-28A PROTOTYPE TO PRODUCTION TIMELINE
January 1, 1946
North American Aviation submits a prototype trainer aircraft to the Navy, designated XSN2J-1 to replace the SNJ. It was powered by a 1100 hp R-1830-78 Wright Cyclone with a three bladed prop. The aircraft top speed was 308 mph, had a service ceiling of 32,00 feet and a range of 1600 miles. Three aircraft were built but the Navy did not award the contract to NAA.
January 1, 1947
NAA submits XBT-28, a new prototype using the XSN2J-1 design but refined to meet USAF specifications. The USAF required a jet transition trainer so the XBT-28 cockpit and aircraft systems were identical to the F-86 jet. It was the first military trainer to have tri-cycle gear.
September 24, 1949
NA-159, USAF Serial Number 48-1371 first test flight September 24, 1949 produced top speed of 292mph, service ceiling of 31,650 feet and 800 nm fuel range. The second XT-28 (48-1372) also flew successful test flights. This prototype had the underbelly speed brake removed
June 15, 1950
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 checking its transition characteristics, instrument, and gunnery capabilities. Found satisfactory, a contract was issued with an initial order of 266. A total of 1,194 T-28As were built during 1950-1953. The A model had a 800 hp Wright R-1300-7 radial engine, two bladed prop and tricycle gear with nose steering. It was intentionally underpowered to mimic the sluggish handling of the F-86. Once dressed with military equipment the empty weight increased substantially along with the max gross weight however the performance stayed in range of the XT-28 but with a lower surface ceiling of only 24,000 feet.
North American Aviation's production plant was located at Inglewood, California. NAA named the T-28A "Trojan" after their hometown University of Southern California's football team. The football team's name had changed several times over the years but when asked why the coach settled on "Trojans" Bird said that USC athletes “were facing teams that were bigger and better-equipped, yet they had splendid fighting spirit. The name Trojans fitted them.” And NAA saw it fitted the new USAF jet transition trainer too.
NAA later moved the T-28A production to it's Downey, CA location and then Dallas, TX where the last T-28A was built in 1953.
SEPTEMBER 24, 1949 - SEPTEMBER 24, 2021
The North American Aviation Story - PeriscopeFilm.com