Parkzone T-28 Trojan
Pilot Skill: Intermediate
Power: E-flite 480-size 960Kv brushless outrunner
Wingspan: 44 in.
Kit Includes: Foam kit, installed electronics, speed control, LiPo battery
After successfully completing numerous solo flights, many aspiring rc pilots begin looking for another aircraft that has more to offer then what they currently own. But not something so aerobatic that they are afraid to fly it. Parkzone is attempting to solve that issue with the release of the T-28 Trojan. Comparable in physical size to many other recommended second airplanes, the Parkzone T-28 Trojan is a budget friendly low-wing foam aircraft that gives courage to the fledgling pilot looking to attempt new moves in the sky.
At first glance the Parkzone T-28 is a bit stark in appearance compared to most other foam fliers on the market. However, the aircraft’s markings replicate the real training aircraft from the United States Air Force. To us, this was a breath of fresh air in a park flier market saturated with super-bright-neon colored paint schemes. Besides, the stark appearance also offers you the ability to customize your T-28 if you wish, without having to potentially paint over existing dark colors (see Control Chat’s own yellow design in the Photo Gallery). When we cracked the box we were pleasantly surprised by its packaging. Having seen other Parkzone kits before, this one was solid and nothing moved because it was tied down securely to a thick foam shipping shell. This almost guarantees no damage to the airplane during shipment. Again, a nice touch from other shipping boxes we’ve seen that have parts rolling around inside. A good thing to note for someone new to electric foam fliers: This kit requires assembly of only 3 parts!
- Horizontal Stabilizer (the elevator)
- Main wing
All other parts for both the RTF and ARF kit are pre-assembled and complete. This makes for quick assembly at any location. Even on the field, it took us only 20-30 minutes to open the box and realize a finished aircraft. An item that stood out was the radio Parkzone includes in their RTF kit. Unlike other radios in similar RTF kits, the Parkzone radio didn’t feel like a child’s toy, had a nice ergonomic feel, and side grooves on the radio that make it fit to your hand nicely. We found that these side grooves helped guide a new radio pilot on how to properly hold a remote. And as a bonus the RTF kit includes all the AA batteries you’ll need for the radio to work!
Parkzone also gave the T-28 a steerable nose gear which handles great on both tarmac and grass. Even in taller grass the T-28 Trojan was able to taxi around with ease, showing no tendency to tip over on its nose & propeller. However, the steering is sensitive enough that it does have the capability to turn hard, scrape the edge of a wing, and possibly clip your propeller. So unless you plan on doing donuts on the runway, a little rudder goes a long way in controlling it on the ground.
The mornings maiden flight found us with a chilly mist in the air and a light breeze coming from the northwest at around 8mph. We decided to skip flying at our local field and opted to fly the Parkzone T-28 where we feel a lot of other beginner pilots might try to fly – in a local businesses parking lot with a large field adjacent to it. After a quick assembly we started to taxi in the parking lot at around 20% throttle. Even at such a low throttle we were zipping around almost too fast. We agreed this little bird has some speed in its belly waiting to come out.
So we taxied down, paused for a few seconds, and took off. It took only 10-15 feet before the wheels began to lift off. That was quick! And before we knew it the airplane was almost 50 feet up in the air and climbing. A consensus was made among us immediately that the brushless 450 motor Parkzone installed was more then enough power to pull this thing through the air. That being the case we decided to skip the pretty fly overs and instead decided to hammer this thing with some good ‘ol stick jockeying*. (*Note to the newbie: “Stick Jockeying” is what happens when an rc pilot quickly moves the radio’s control sticks around in random positions causing the aircraft to make sudden and sometimes violent moves in the air. This is Control Chat’s own little “stress test” to see how the airplane behaves in an unpredictable environment. It can also be a negative term used to describe a pilot who’s showing off their supposed skills, but in reality doesn’t know how to truly control the aircraft.)
The T-28 passed our jockeying test with flying colors and at one point we found ourselves thinking, “Is there a way to hurt this bird?! Or is it indestructible?” The answer, unfortunately, is yes. You can damage the T-28 quite easily with bad landings (as we did). This will most likely occur if you start landing too hard, too often, and hit the front nose gear. You could potentially break-off the steering arm but you are more apt to push the nose’s landing gear wire backwards into the body of the foam aircraft. It’s an ugly thing to fix so we recommend practicing a few landing approaches before your first touch down. Don’t get us wrong. The T-28 will handle rough landings, but too many may result in a broken nose gear.
With all the above jotted down in our notebook, we decided it was time to do some fly bys, take some pictures, and do a soft landing approach. With 8mph head winds* and only minor turbulence, the T-28 handled the landing amazingly well. The added dihedral Parkzone gives the T-28 makes it very forgiving indeed. And it also makes for really good looking touch downs! (*Note to the newbie: This is when your aircraft is traveling directly into the wind.)
If you’re in the market for a second airplane that is not a huge jump towards the aerobatic class of airplanes, this is your bird. Granted it is a foam flier, but we believe that is what makes it attractive to most new pilots. It is forgiving in flight and if you do smack it around, it can take the abuse. Plus, most every hobby store that carries the Parkzone T-28 Trojan will have a lot of spare parts available. And if you can’t find them at your local hobby store, Horizon Hobby has them in stock guaranteed.
Recommended Parts & Accessories
- Great electric starter kit
If you are new to electrics and want to dive in, we highly recommend the Parkzone T-28 as a starter kit. Reason? Most of the electronics can be used in other electric aircraft that are similar in size. We’ve noticed that one of the biggest expenses of electrics are the batteries. Especially Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries. The 1800mAh 3-cell LiPo that comes with the RTF kit we have used in many other electrics. Even in more powerful aircraft like the Thunder Tiger Mini Titan. For the initial cost, the T-28 RTF kit is a solid kick-off into the world of electric flight.
- The Propeller
Stick with the propeller that Parkzone recommends. We tried different propellers to find any improvement and failed at most all attempts. We did find propellers that were equal in power but they ended up being more expensive then the one Parkzone sells for the T-28. The brushless 480 motor that comes in the T-28 kit matches well with the prop they sell. Unless you modify the kit with a new motor, we think your results in prop testing will be the same as ours.
- Battery Selection
If you want to purchase additional LiPo’s we recommend two choices. The budget minded consumer might like the 2200mAh 3-cell 11.1 V LiPo battery by Parkzone, while the thrill seeker looking for more flight time and power might like the 2200mAh 3-cell 11.1VPro Lite by Thunder Power.