Seagull Models T-28 Trojan 10 – 15cc ARF

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Introduction

In a modern world of jets and turboprop aircraft, there’s just something about the sound of a big, old radial engine that just gets me going. They come to life with large clouds of smoke from inverted cylinders, and roar that only a round engine has! The T-28 Trojan is no stranger to radial engine fans, and is a popular warbird trainer aircraft as well! Their large size and stable flight characteristics make them easy to fly, and tricycle landing gear gives pilots a exceptional forward view! There are few warbirds that offer both the pilot and copilot copious amounts of cockpit room! With a large portion of their upper body visible in the canopy, there’s no shortage of  elbow room.

Seagull Models has added another sport-scale warbird to their lineup – this time in the form of a famous ‘Jolly Roger’ themed T-28. As a 10-15cc sized model, it’s a mid-sized airplane sporting a 63″ wingspan and weighing approximately 10 pounds. Out of the box, it has sprung fixed landing gear, but can be upgraded to retracts easily! Interested? Read on to find out more!

First Look

The T-28 I received was a pre-production sample, so it arrived in a plain brown box – the ‘ready to sell’ version came in a similar box sporting some very nice labels! Inside, I found all the parts neatly packed. All of the major parts were present, so I was on to checking it out!

The large battery/top hatch opens to a cavernous fuselage – even the largest of hands will fit easily in this fuse! I’m really liking all of the pre-installed decals and matte clear coat – it just looks so much more realistic than an all-shiny warbird. The included sprung fixed landing gear is easy to install and looks great, but upgrading to retracts is super simple! I’ll be using a set of .60-1.20 electric retracts for the T-28, and seagull sends gear door stand-offs for both versions! Seagull has even included painted ABS plastic sheets to cover the open wheel wells, should you decide to keep the fixed landing gear.

I really liked the fiberglass cowl – it was shaped nicely, and the paint matched the OraCover covering very well! A pair of hand-painted pilot figures are included, and they looked pretty nice! The tail surfaces are airfoiled, adding to the sport-scale look of the T-28 – the ‘Jolly Roger’ scheme looks a lot cooler than the standard red and white colors found on most of the T-28 models in the industry.

A quick mock-up of all the parts indicate that the T-28 should go together easily, and look great when completed!

 Specifications

Name:   Seagull Models T-28 Trojan 10-15cc ARF

Where to Purchase:   Skysharkrc.com/Seagull-Models-T-28

Price:   $319.95 (as of publishing this review)

Wingspan:   63″   (1600 mm)

Wing Area:   349 sq. in   (42 sq. dm)

Average Flying Weight:   10 lbs   (4.5 kg)

Length:   50.7 in   (1286 mm)

Flying Skill Level:   Intermediate

Requires:

Gas Engine:  10-15 cc

Glow Engine:  .60-.91 ci

Electric Power:   .60 sized Brushless Outrunner, 70-80 Amp ESC, and 6S  5000 mAh LiPo Battery

Radio System:   6 Channel (minimum) with 7 servos

Retracts (Optional):   .60-1.20 Electric Retract Set

Equipment Used for Review

From the ground, I’ll be using my trusted Hitec Flash 7 transmitter. This has become my favorite ‘go-to’ Hitec transmitter! I’ll be installing a Hitec Optima 9 receiver in the T-28. It has more than enough channels to properly cover the Trojan! Seven Hitec HS-485HB Deluxe servos will be driving all the control surfaces on the T-28.

Inside the cowl will be an Electrifly Rimfire .60 Brushless Outrunner, and  Hitec Energy Sport 80 Amp ESC. These two make a great pair, and should pull the Trojan around effortlessly!

Features

Electric conversion ready with removable top hatch.

High quality balsa and balsa plywood for a strong, lightweight finish.

Eye catching, scale color scheme.

Covered in genuine Oracover.

Pre-cut scale decal sheet for easy customization.

Factory painted fiberglass cowl.

Fully detailed, factory painted  pilot figure.

All necessary hardware and accessories included.

Two-piece, plug-in wing with functional flaps.

Fixed gear with sprung struts (Optional electric retracts)

***Download the Manual HERE***

Assembly

I began with the wings by assembling and installing the flap hinges. A short piece of fuel tubing was used to ensure that the hinges would not come apart in flight. Six small screw attach each of the three hinges to the bottom of each wing half. I like these hinges because they are tough, and provide a ‘dropped’ look when the flaps are deployed.

With a T-Pin pushed through the center of each of the CA hinges for the aileron, I inserted half into the aileron and wing and then centered the aileron in the opening in the wing.

The T-Pins were removed, and the aileron hinges were secured using thin CA. While the CA cured, I attached the aileron servos to their hatches. The servo arms I used are available at servocity.com using  . I like these servo arms, because they are long enough to protrude from nearly any servo hatch and give us modelers a variety of holes to connect a pushrod. With a 12″ servo extension wire securely attached to the servo wiring, the wiring was pulled through the wing via the pre-installed pull string.

After installing the four hatch retainer screws, I repeated the process for the flap servo and installed the fiberglass control horns. A small batch of five-minute epoxy made quick work of installing the control horns!

The aileron and flap pushrods were bent and cut to length, and then installed with snap-keepers. A lock nut and small piece of fuel tubing keep the metal clevis attached to each of the control horns.

The axles included with the Himark .60-1.20 electric landing gear were adjusted to the correct length and the retract mounts were marked and drilled. The wheel was held onto the axle by the wheel collars included with the T-28.

The gear doors were attached using the wire gear leg adapters, and after adjusting the position of the door, the adapters and door were secured to the wire gear leg with ZAP Gel CA. With this, the wings were complete and set aside for later!

Moving on to the nose gear, the location of the retract was marked and drilled, and the retract unit was installed in the nose gear bay. A 2 mm pushrod was prepared for installation by threading a locking nut and clevis onto it and adding a small piece of fuel tubing.

The nose gear pushrod guide tube was installed and secured with thick CA, and the pushrod was slid into the guide tube and attached to the nose gear. Lastly, the nosegear cover was trimmed to shape and installed with six wood screws.

The motor box was then fitted with the Rimfire .60 motor. The motor box was not long enough to mount the motor directly to the sub-firewall, so I added 20mm spacers and moved the sub-firewall back a bit. The overall dimension required was 145mm from the airframe’s firewall to the propeller hub. Tri stock was glued in place to add strength to the motor mount, and I like to add a few Du-Bro servo screws as well.

The motor box was attached to the firewall using the included hardware, and the Hitec Energy Sport 80 Amp ESC was secured in place with a pair of Zip Ties. I like to add a piece of DuBro 1/4″ foam rubber under my ESCs to insulate them from vibration – it also helps to hold the ESC in place! The included Hook-N-Loop straps were used to secure the 6S 5000 mAh LiPo battery to the battery tray.

The cowl was marked and cut, and then mounted using the tried-and-true cardstock method. To ensure proper fit of the cowl, the battery hatch was installed prior to mounting the cowl. For proper airflow, the spaces between the simulated cylinders were cut out using a Dremel tool and various bits.

I readied the horizontal stabilizer for installation by measuring and marking the center of it and the stabilizer mount on the fuselage. The wings were temporarily attached to the fuselage with the wing tube, and the stabilizer fit was checked. The fit was perfect!

Since the stabilizer fit so well, I decided to fit the fin before any epoxy was applied. the fin also fit well, so I traced the outline onto the stab, and cut  and removed the covering. The fin and stabilizer were now ready for attachment!

I mixed up a batch of 30 minute epoxy and attached the fin and stab to the fuselage. They fit so well that a couple pieces of masking tape were all I needed to keep the parts in place while the epoxy cured. With the same batch of 30 minute epoxy, I installed the control horns on the elevator halves and rudder.

When the epoxy had cured on the control horns and stabilizer, I attached the elevator halves using the included CA hinges and thin CA…

…Followed by installing the Rudder in the same manner!

The elevator and rudder pushrods were assembled and slid into their respective guide tubes, connected to their control horns, and the control surfaces were centered using a bit more masking tape.

The elevator and rudder servos were installed next, followed by the elevator pushrod joiner. The outer set screws were installed in the joiner and the excess pushrod was cut and removed. I also used a drop of Pacer Z-42 Blue thread locking compound on the set screws before installing them.

A short pushrod was bent and installed for the elevator joiner to servo arm connection, and the rudder and nose gear steering pushrods were connected to the rudder servo.

The pilot figures were attached using 30 minute epoxy, and I secured the canopy with wood screws. I really like that Seagull is really stepping up their pilot figures to look more realistic – these guys looked GREAT!

The wings were then attached to the fuselage by sliding them onto the aluminum wing joiner and securing each half with a nylon screw inside the fuselage. The Hitec Optima 9 receiver was installed, and the antennas were secured in the fuselage.

The canopy was installed and secured via a pair of magnets, and the T-28 Trojan was complete and ready to fly!

Flight Report

We picked a really nice day to fly the T-28. My friend and video pilot, Jim Buzzeo, and I visited the TCRC field in Jordan, Minnesota to see some of our old flying buddies.

I strapped the 6S 5000mAh LiPo to the battery tray, and connected it to the ESC. The motor chirped stating that it was ready to go. The Trojan was taxied out onto the runway, demonstrating that the steerable nose wheel had plenty of travel to guide the plane easily. We called for takeoff, and the throttle was advanced. The T-28 started moving, and rolled down the runway quickly! Because of how the landing gear is set, the wing has a slight negative incidence when sitting on the ground – pulling back on the elevator stick allowed the nose to come up and the Trojan jumped off the ground! Releasing the elevator as quickly as possible, the T-28 settled into a nice climb out. It was clear that the Rimfire .60 and 12×6 APC prop, backed by the Hitec ESC and 6S LiPo were a good combination!

Once at a safe altitude, the T-28 was checked for trim changes – none were needed, and the plane was flying very nicely at just over half-throttle! The landing gear were then retracted, and the Trojan was tracking just as before!

High and low speed flight testing was performed next, and both were very acceptable. I must say this though – due to another aircraft having some stalling issues, I set the ailerons to +2° up deflection on both sides – this essentially added a small amount of ‘washout’ to the wing, and no signs of premature stalling were noticed. High speed runs looked great at low altitude, and dirty (flaps and gear down) flybys looked really cool as well!

Aerobatic tests came next – well, at least scale type aerobatics. Stall turns, Loops, and rolls are all well within the maneuvers that the T-28 can perform – the power setup I used will allow loops to be nearly as large as anyone would like! The roll rate, on the manufacturer recommended aileron setting is very manageable, and looks very scale like.

Now that all the basic testing had been done, we were just enjoying flying the T-28. The Seagull version stands up to the full scale version very well. On low rates and slower speeds, the Trojan flies like a great warbird trainer. Add in some higher speeds and control throws, and the T-28 acts much more like a spirited sport plane!

During the maiden flight, the wind was straight down the runway at about 10 MPH, and it didn’t bother the Trojan at all – in fact when it came time to land we didn’t even use the flaps! The T-28 settled in on the tricycle gear easily enough and rolled down the runway. Unfortunately, we ran out of asphalt runway surface too soon, and the plane tipped during the rollout at the end of the runway. The tip caused the APC prop to strike the ground and break, ending our fun for the day. The best advice I can give is to make sure you slow down the T-28 before making a turn on the ground. Even with that said, I was more than pleased with the Trojan’s performance in the air – it’s a great flying warbird trainer!

Check out the video to see the Seagull Models T-28 Trojan in action!

Summary

I like the Seagull T-28 Trojan a lot. For an aspiring warbird pilot, the T-28 would make a great entry level warbird that flies easily and presents no bad habits. Assembly was quick and resulted in a great looking model! Seagull has yet another excellent sport scale warbird in their lineup, and I really love the ‘Jolly Roger’ trim scheme! Though mine was flown as an electric model, I truly believe that the Trojan would be every bit the same model with a gas or glow engine. So, pick your power and get a T-28 in the air – you’ll be glad you did!

-GB

Contact Information

Seagull Models:   www.seagullmodels.com

SkyShark Hobbies:   www.skysharkrc.com

Hitec:   www.hitecrcd.com

Great Planes Electrifly:   www.greatplanes.com/motors

DuBro:   www.dubro.com

Pacer/Zap:   www.franktiano.com

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