North American AT-28D-5 “Nomad”

North American AT-28D-5 “Nomad”


North American AT-28D-5 “Nomad” MK 1

Current Status:



The North American Aviation T-28 Trojan was originally built as a tandem seat radial-engine military training aircraft for the United States Air Force and United States Navy beginning in the 1950s.  The Air Force phased out the first variant built as the T-28A from primary pilot training by the early 1960s, continuing its use only for limited training of special operations aircrews and for primary training of select foreign military personnel. The much improved model T-28B/C continued to be used as a primary trainer by the US Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard well into the early 1980s finally  being retired in 1984.

In the early 1960s the T-28 was identified as combat capable platform, as a result T-28A, B, and Cs were converted throughout the decade by both North American Aviation and sub-contractors into a counter-insurgency attack aircraft. AT-28Ds were supplied to the Republic of Vietnam and Laotian Air Forces beginning in the early 1960s. The bulk of AT-28s in the Southeast Asia theater of operations during he Vietnam War were flown by the USAF “Ravens” also known as Air Commandos into the early 1970s. These were the early units of what would become U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command. The AT-28s were also used in clandestine operations by Air America the covert air arm of the CIA during the Vietnam War.

About Our North American AT-28D-5 “Nomad” MK 1:

Our AT-28D-5 was manufactured by North American Aviation, Inglewood California as a T-28A “Trojan” trainer and delivered to the USAF on 2 May 1950. Being one of the first of its type is went on to the 2759thExperimental Wing (Air Materiel Command), Edwards AFB CA in the same month. It would go on to be modified into an ET-28A at the 2750thAir Base Wing (AMC), Wright-Patterson AFB OH in August of 1950.  It would serve as a test aircraft for the HQ Air Research and Development Command, Wright-Patterson AFB until June of 1951 when it returned to Edwards AFB and the 2759th Experimental Wing. It remained at Edwards AFB assigned to the 6510thAir Base Wing, 6512thTest Pilot Training Squadron, and the AF Flight Test Center until May of 1962. It briefly was assigned to the 3550thMaintenance and Supply Group (Air Training Command), Moody AFB GA until finally retired in September of 1962 and placed in storage at Davis Monthan AFB, AZ.

In June of 1965 it was pulled out of mothball and sent to the North American Aviation Plant in Columbus, OH where it joined other A-Models pulled from storage for conversion into the counter-insurgency light attack variant requested by the USAF for use in the burgeoning conflict in Southeast Asia and designated the AT-28D-5. Built to the NAA NA-260 specifications with its additional combat upgrades it would pick up the nickname of the NOMAD.

Upon completion of its overhaul from an A-model to the D-Model it was sent to Sacramento Air Logistics Area, McClellan AFB CA in July of 1966, where it was transferred to the growing Military Assistance Program in Southeast Asia. Delivered to Thailand between 1966 and 1967 as part of MAP aid to Laos it was transferred and operated by the USAF “Raven” Program in combat operations from 1968-1970 operating out of Udorn Air Base in Thailand where it was maintained by Air America although operated under the guidance of the USAF Air Attache’ in Laos. Eventually operated by Air America pilots 49-1496 operated out of Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam until 1973 when it was transferred to the Laotian Air Force.

The American Airpower Museum North American AT-28D-5 flying over the South Shore of Long Island, NY out of our home at Republic Airport.

Our North American AT-28D-5 is still in its stock military configuration as it was during the Vietnam war. The aircraft pays tribute to all those who served during the Vietnam War, specifically honoring the brave USAF Special Operations Squadrons and pilots known as “Ravens”, and the CIA’s  Air America airmen who operated in the “secret war” in Laos, and Cambodia.

The American Airpower Museum North American AT-28D-5 USAF serial number 49-1496 is currently part of a private aircraft collection,  and is graciously on loan to the museum for display and operation. The AT-28D-5 flies regularly at the museum, and to air shows up and down the east coast.

North American AT-28D-5 “Nomad”

North American AT-28D-5 “Nomad”

April 1, 2023

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