I believe the ParkZone T28 Trojan is one of the best (maybe “The best”) park flyer/small field flyer/ electric/ foamy airplane built. At least I have never flown anything that combines all the positive qualities the T28 has. Let me try to list what I like about it here, in no particular order.
It is recognizable as a real airplane… above and beyond looking like an airplane in general, it actually captures the look of the real Trojan.
It can be flown off any reasonably maintained flying field. Wheels work well on “most” grass fields or you can leave them behind and it flies even a bit better without the extra weight of landing gear. Belly landings on grass don’t hurt a thing.
It has sufficient power to climb rapidly and handle winds very well. In fact I love flying it in 10-20 mph winds.
It is reasonably rugged. I managed to break the nose off my first T28 (on number 2 now) but abrupt dives and full throttle into the ground will do that! Even then I could have repaired it but I decided all the accumulated nicks and cuts and dings called for replacement.
It is capable of most maneuvers one would fly “on the wing” i.e. no hovering or other full 3D aerobatics. But very respectable climb rates, point rolls, loops, snaps, inverted flight, knife edge and more are easily done.
Flying on floats is quite enjoyable if set up correctly… (more on that later)
Batteries (3 cell LiPo) from 1300 to 2200mah seem to work just fine so if you fly any electrics now, you may already have some appropriately sized spare batteries. 1800s will get you anywhere from 10-18 minutes depending on how much throttle you use and how low you want to push the battery!
Parts are readily available. I have helped to rebuild several T28s. I think I’ve re-installed/replaced everything that makes up one of these birds at one point or another!
Without modification it is a fairly sedate and easy to fly airplane. Bound to a high quality radio with rates, expo, mixing, etc… and some control linkage adjustments and you can make it a lot more nimble or even easier to fly as you wish.
The electronics supplied with the bird are really pretty nice. I’ve put several hundred flights on one motor, only replaced speed controllers after dunking them in water (not recommended) and servos are adequate and inexpensive to replace. Is a servo failure after 100+ flights a bad thing if I can get a replacement for $12+/-? And the failure is twitching/centering… not a complete smoke job.
Can you tell the T28 is on my “Try not to be without one… buy another if crashed” list?
I mentioned flying off floats is possible. In fact it works pretty well. You have to find some appropriate sized floats (mine are kit built from Sig/Herr) and then modify the bird for at least one more attach point. I installed a wood block with a groove (similar to a lot of trainers LG mounting method) and then created a mounting system from light wire that I can insert (I’ll put a picture or two here soon). With that near the nose and the main gear wires I have a solid mount mechanism that takes less than 15 minutes to accomplish. With the stock power it will come up off the water in 10 feet or so if you setup the floats correctly.
One thing I highly recommend if you are going to fly off of water is to waterproof your speed control (I used some antenna sealant tape to enclose both ends of the speed control shrink warp) and a baggie around the receiver rubber banded around the servo leads is not a bad idea either. Learning to fly on floats will likely involve dunking a few times so save yourself some money! Speed controls and receivers (at least the ones I prefer) aren’t cheap! Don’t worry about this limiting the airflow… the motor only draws about 14A the best I can tell and the controller is rated for 30. I’ve never had issues as a result and I don’t ever take off my waterproofing for regular flying either.
Anyway, the T28 from ParkZone is a big hit as far as I’m concerned. Anyone who can fly a trainer will have no issue with it and its still fun for those mid and upper level flyers as long as you don’t need to hover to have fun.
I would recommend the red and white “Navy” pattern as the air force gray and blue is much harder to keep a good visual orientation. I added some 1″ wide white stripes on mine just inside of the blue wing tips to make it somewhat better but the visibility of the red and white is far superior.
A couple years ago at the Joe Nall, I was one of 72 pilots who took the T28 up for a mass fly (to show how well Spektrum radios work) so I will always have a soft spot for the T28. Mine came back safe and sound after 9 minutes or so of very intensive flying! About 60 of them were the stock red and white scheme (mine included) and I’m often asked how I kept track of the one I was flying. My answer is always the same. “Don’t ever look away from the plane… and don’t blink”!