Thursday, August 17, 2017
Home » Product Reviews » Parkzone T-28 Trojan RTF

Parkzone T-28 Trojan RTF

A Classic Postwar Trainer Comes To Your Local Park

 


Success and recognition can be challenging goals, especially when you are trying to escape the shadow of a more famous older sibling. Such is exactly the case for North Americans T-28 Trojan. Following the WWII-era T-6 Texan trainerof which over 17,000 examples have served the armed forces of almost 50 countries the T-28 had some pretty big shoes to fill.
First ordered in 1950, the T-28 was quickly adopted by the Air Force, Navy and Marines. The bubble canopys excellent visibility, the predictable ground handling (courtesy of the tricycle landing gear) and 1,425 horsepower from the big Wright Cyclone radial soon made it a favorite among instructors and students alike, and over 2,200 were built before the production line was shut down in 1957. It continued to earn its keep, though, and served with the Navy until the mid-1980s.


The T-28 is known for its solid feeling in the air; it flies as if it were on rails and goes where you point it. As I approached the first flight of the ParkZone T-28, I hoped that some of these characteristics would have carried over to the model.


The T-28 is the first ParkZone warbird with landing gear, a brushless motor and full 4-channel control that brings increased efficiency and operational flexibility to this very popular product line. It also comes standard with a 3S LiPo battery for maximum flight duration at minimum weight. These new features promised a lot of fun, and I was excited to try it out.

ON THE BENCH

Like the ParkZone warbirds that preceded it, the T-28 is nearly ready to fly right out of the box and can be ready for flight very quickly. The entire assembly process takes less than half an hour. All the equipment is included and installed at the factory. You will need to slide the horizontal stabilizer through the aft fuselage, tape it into place and connect the elevator pushrod. The wing is attached with one nylon screw, and the main landing gear snaps into place. The steerable nose gear is mounted onthe firewall with a single setscrew for the steering arm. Step 6 in the manual shows how to install the propeller, but my

model came with the prop already secured. The last thing I needed to do was to install the battery and check the CG. The battery can really only go in one way, and that established the proper CG for my model. Actually, I should say it established a CG that I thought looked good and that I confirmed with flight testing. The manual actually doesnt mention the proper balance point or recommend control throws. Horizon has since posted the proper dimension on its website, and my model balances spot-on. You want your model to balance with the CG 2.5 inches behind the leading edge measured an inch out from the fuselage to clear the slight taper at the wing root. Checking the balance with the model upside down is a lot easier than when its upright.

SPECS
PLANE: T-28 Trojan
MANUFACTURER:ParkZone
DISTRIBUTOR:Horizon Hobby
TYPE:Ready-to-fly electric warbird park flyer
FOR:Intermediate pilots
WINGSPAN:43.5 in.
WING AREA:305 sq. in.
WEIGHT:30.5 oz.
WING LOADING:14.4 oz./sq. ft.
LENGTH:36 in.
RADIO:4-channel required; flown with a ParkZone ZX10 FM transmitter, ParkZone ZX10 6- channel receiver, 2 ParkZone SV80 servos (ailerons) 1 ParkZone SV120 servo (elevator), 1 ParkZone DSV130M servo (rudder)
POWER SYSTEM:ParkZone 480 960Kv brushless outrunner motor, ParkZone 9.5×7.5 prop, E-flite 25A programmable brushless speed control, 3S 1800mAh LiPo battery
FULL-THROTTLE POWER:17.6 amps, 199.6 watts, 6.54 W/oz., 104.7 W/lb.
TOP RPM:7,845
DURATION:15 – 18 min.
MINIMUM FLYING AREA:Ballfield
PRICE:$219.99
COMPONENTS NEEDED TO COMPLETE:None. All required equipment is included and installed.

SUMMARY

The ParkZone T-28 is a goodlooking replica of the popular postwar military trainer. It is constructed of durable foam and comes painted in a realistic highly visible Navy color scheme with a nice pilot already in the office. The ZX10 radio system features 3-wire servos. The best part is its flight performance. This classic offers all the thrills of the prototype, save paying the tab on the 60+ gallon-per-hour fuel burn.


AIRBORNEIt is always good to range-check a new model, and the manual details how to do that correctly with the T-28. ParkZone also recommends that you first fly with low rates, so I confirmed the switch position before I connected the flight battery.


The T-28 has a steerable nosewheel, and I made use of it immediately. I positioned the model on one of the concrete pit pads at the local field, and then I added a little power to taxi out. There wasnt any wind, so I lined up with the grass runway and smoothly advanced the throttle to full while holding a little up-elevator to protect the nosewheel from beating against the various bumps and tufts on the field. The model accelerated nicely, and the nosewheel soon lifted as the T-28 rotated and lifted off.


I did make my first flight with the factory control setup. The T-28 was very stable in the air, it flew smoothly, and it was easy to control. It will loop and roll from level flight, and with 4 channels of control, its fully aerobatic in an appropriate manner. By that, I mean it will not hover, it does not have unlimited vertical, and it wants to be flown in a reasonably realistic manner. Does it knife-edge (KE)? Well, yes, kind of. You can roll it 90 degrees and hold it there for a bit, but dont expect it to gain altitude or do KE loops and spins like a 3D foamie. To my eye, though, this is a model to be flown smoothly and gracefully through large loops, slow rolls, Cuban-8s, Immelmanns, chandelles, inverted circuits and a split-S or two before you set up an arcing carrier-type approach for a touch-and-go. Like its big brother, it tracks cleanly through such maneuvers as long as you maintain airspeed, and this carries right through the approach to landing. Keep a bit of power on, hold the wings and fuselage level, and let it settle in.


Flying the ParkZone T-28 shows you how the big Trojan could well equip a pilot for the big step into a postwar fighter. My preference is for pretty aggressive control throws on most models, and I have since increased the deflections by moving the pushrods in on the control horns. Even with maximum throws, I have not noticed any bad habits. Pulling hard in steep turns simply brings the nose around without a stall. If you want to depart from controlled flight though, just slow down a bit and kick in a bunch of rudder. The inner wingtip will drop nicely, and the snap roll will develop into a nice spin. Fortunately, recovery is almost immediate once you release the sticks.


I definitely appreciated the ZX10 transmitters dual rate switch. Toggling in the low rates made it easy to set up a stabilized smooth approach for a realistic touchdown.


CONCLUSIONIf you are one to read and follow directions, I would switch steps one and two. ParkZone includes a nice balancing LiPo battery charger for 2- and 3-cell packs, and you will want to get the included 3-cell battery connected as soon as you can. You should be done with assembly long before the charger does its job. Once the LED is glowing, you can back up and install the AA batteries (also included) in the transmitter.
The ParkZone T-28 RTF is available on six different 72MHz frequencies as well as in a PNP version without the radio if you want to use your own gear. These options will let you and all your friends assemble a squadron for fun flying sessions and even a simple one-design racing class. Consider picking up a spare battery because everyone at your field will want to have a go with this classic warbird until they get their own.

Links
ParkZone, distributed by Horizon Hobby Distributors, www.parkzone.com, www.horizonhobby.com, (877) 504-0233