North American T-28B Trojan

Air Force Number One

It doesn’t have the “war hero” aura surrounding many of the warbirds. It doesn’t carry labels like “very rare” or “extremely valuable.” And yet the North American T-28B Trojan is probably the most important aircraft in Hangar 7, since without it the Flying Bulls might not even exist.

When Sigi Angerer talks about his first encounter with a T-28, you can’t help feeling like you’re listening to a man who has been married for many years describing the moment he first met the love of his life. But unlike in most romance stories, the attention of the Flying Bulls’ chief pilot was captured not by a look but by an unmistakably loud racket when a T-28A rumbled overhead at an airfield in Lantana, Florida.

A passion for historic aircraft took its course. But Sigi quickly rejected the A-variant of the T-28 model for reasons having largely to do with its nick-name, “The Converter”. With an undersized engine, the T-28A was preceded by a reputation for merely converting fuel into noise. But its successor, the T-28B, was equipped with a 1,425-horsepower Wright radial engine. Almost twice as much power – this information rekindled Sigi’s love. The search began for one of these training aircraft (the “T” is for Trainer), which were built for the US Navy starting in 1954.

Angerer finally found what he was looking for in 1987 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His dream of a warbird had come true. At the time, no one imagined what the consequences of that purchase would turn out to be, or how many lovely sisters the T-28B would have later. To prepare for the ocean transport to Europe, Angerer first had to fly the T-28B to Chino, California, where it was disassembled, loaded into a 40-foot container, and shipped to Hamburg. It landed at its new home base in Innsbruck still displaying its American tail number. It was entered as the first American warbird in the Austrian aircraft register in the spring of 1988. It was moved to Salzburg in 2001 and took off to numerous air shows thereafter.

It makes a good stunt plane despite its weight, and in formation with the Corsair it always managed to thrill the crowds. Managed? The Trojan is currently hibernating in a state of suspended animation while undergoing restoration. And this 56-year-old lady has truly earned this bit of R&R: the North American had already logged over 12,000 flight hours in the Navy, easing many a pilot into a flying career with its sweet-tempered handling. So the elaborate “facelift” is also a way of saying thank-you to the Number 1 – and Sigi Angerer is not the only person looking forward to its return.

Im Moment steht die Komplettüberholung der Trojan an. Dabei werden sämtliche tragende Teile sowie alle mechanischen Komponenten einer Überprüfung unterzogen und gegebenenfalls ausgetauscht.
Auch bei den hydraulischen Komponenten und Leitungen wird eine intensive Inspektion und Überholung durchgeführt.
Der Curtiss Wright R 1820-86B Sternmotor: 1425 PS verteilen sich auf 9 Zylinder und sorgen nicht nur für einen atemberaubenden Sound, sondern auch für eine Höchstgeschwindigkeit von 630 km/h.

Sigi Angerer's Logbook

Die Reise nach Las Vegas

Our P-38’s last appearance was at Nelly’s Air Force Base in Las Vegas; twelve years later it was also to celebrate its comeback there. Red Bull North America had requested it. I was happy about it since I had always wanted to do a show in Las Vegas (albeit as a magician). But the Lightning was in Breckenridge, Texas, and I was stuck in Mattsee, Salzburg. Just the distance from Breckenridge to Las Vegas was 1,852 kilometers. My trip began at 3 a.m. in Mattsee. I arrived in Dallas, Texas, at 3 p.m. local time, and my friend L. Shaw took me from there to Adison. From there I flew on to Breckenridge with his Husky – skirting a few thunderstorms in the process. Following a warm reception I fell dog-tired into bed. Took off at daybreak with a grand total of five hours of P-38 flight experience. Fuel stop in Midland, Texas; another four-and-a-half hours to go till Las Vegas.

I wandered into a storm over the Rocky Mountains and experienced shaking like seldom before. Also, a reserve tank didn’t transfer to the main tank, necessitating a further fuel and repair stop in Tucson. Even on the ground there was no rest: climb onto the wing, climb down from the wing, back and forth. When you’re used to a multicrew, a single-pilot operation is a lot of work. Shortly before dusk I threw a rather tired glance at my watch on “Salzburg time”: 2 o’clock in the morning! My resolve was fixed despite everything: I’m going on to Las Vegas! Had a couple “landjägers” and washed them down with an energy drink. After an hour’s nap in the hangar I was back in the air. Two hours later I was seriously wondering what I was doing in the pitch-dark night above the desert in an old airplane! But glimpsing the lights of Las Vegas quickly annulled my doubts. Then the switch for the landing lights was nowhere to be found, so I landed inconspicuously in the dark. It was high time for breakfast.

A package tour would certainly be more comfortable, but I preferred it this way!

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