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Old Dec 18, 2012, 12:48 PM
I hate waiting for parts
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United States, NC, Garner
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T-28 resurrection - with retracts!

Like many other R/C pilots, I bought a ParkZone T-28 when they first came out and fell in love with the airplane. Decent electronics, tough as nails, long flight times, and easy to repair. What's not to like? I've had a few of them... one was a night flyer decked out with so many LEDs it actually changed the flight characteristics, and another with floats to be flown off water.

Last year during a night fly, my friend Brandon and I were trying to fly "formation" (and I use that term loosely) and we inevitably collided. I definitely took the worst of the collision this time as we both watched a ball of light fall out of the sky... all while laughing hysterically. This was definitely not the first time him and I intentionally bashed each other around, but when examining the wreckage it was obvious that no amount of epoxy or packing tape was bringing this T-28 back form the dead. It had been broken in half and fixed so many times it probably weighed 1/2 lb. more just in epoxy alone. I put the wreckage in a portable rack in my shop to inventory at a later date.

A few weeks later, another friend and fellow club member was cleaning out his trailer and gave me a T-28 airframe. No electronics, not even the landing gear... just the airframe and pushrods. It had seen better days but free is free, right? And it was sure in better shape than mine. He insisted he didn't want any money for it.

Both airframes sat in my shop all spring, summer, and fall, untouched. I had other projects to occupy my time like FPV, quadcopters, etc. Just a few weeks ago, yet another friend and club member won a new F4U-1A Corsair from ParkZone. He added the retracts and that got me to thinking about my T-28. It's been sitting in my rack in the shop all year, patiently waiting its turn on the workbench. When I would glance at it, I always liked the way it looked with no landing gear but didn't want to hand-launch it (I've got enough airplanes that require a hand-launch). A quick search of RCGroups.com revealed that yes, other people have modified the T-28 to accept retracts. That led me to an RCGrouper's YouTube account with a video of the retracts in the T-28. I was in love, and knew what was next on my bench.

E-flite retractable gear t-28 (1 min 7 sec)


He was nice enough to point me to an online guide of how to quickly and easily install the retracts. It's the guys at Flitetest... I've never heard of them! Shows you how behind the times I am!

Flite Test - Custom Installing Retracts - Flite Tip (15 min 1 sec)


In addition to the YouTube video, there's also an excellent step-by-step picture guide of how they did it on their website. After reading all of this, I knew what my next project was. I called my LHS and now have a set of tricycle retracts on the way!

Last night I tore apart the old T-28, salvaged everything from it, and gave the donor airframe a once-over. I was only able to install the Elevator and Rudder servos. I did check out the Aileron servos but they were quite chattery so I ordered some new servos to replace them. I'll document my progress here and upload the pics I took.
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Last edited by Mike_Then; Dec 19, 2012 at 11:01 AM. Reason: Added pics
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 11:01 AM
I hate waiting for parts
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United States, NC, Garner
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Fist post updated with pics.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 08:21 PM
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hmmm this brandon guy sounds like a real good friend....
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 07:37 AM
I hate waiting for parts
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Originally Posted by bstussie View Post
hmmm this brandon guy sounds like a real good friend....
He is! We had a great laugh over the carnage!
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 01:28 PM
I hate waiting for parts
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I got a message from m LHS that my retracts should be in tomorrow. I'll pick them up tomorrow night and hopefully get some more work done this weekend! I think my servos are supposed to be here tomorrow, too.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 07:31 AM
I hate waiting for parts
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Got some work done last night. It was a late night as I had to improvise. The guys at Flitetest.com did a great job, and the pictures were pretty good, but some measurements or extreme close-ups would have been better. They said in the video they were going to release a template for the wing but it was nowhere to be found. The end result is going to be the same but mine won't be as pretty as theirs. Sorry for the shadow on some of the pcitures; I had the lens flare on the camera and it's not good for close-up shots.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 09:54 AM
I hate waiting for parts
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Got the other side done this morning. Now that I had a game plan, so to speak, it went much faster. The wing is done except for fine-tuning the wheels (for straightness, etc.). I still have to install the aileron servos, and they should be here today.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 09:19 PM
I hate waiting for parts
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The end is in sight... got a lot of work done this morning. I should be able to finish it up in the next day or so.
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 02:10 PM
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Looks Good ARF Man! I wish I could get free airplanes. lol
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 12:26 PM
I hate waiting for parts
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Looks Good ARF Man! I wish I could get free airplanes. lol
I'm just glad you decided to clean out your trailer.

Got more work done yesterday. Grinding out the cowl to fit the nose gear and the motor is taking a long time. But it's better to go slow and get it right than rush through it. Pics are below.
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 04:55 PM
I hate waiting for parts
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It flies!

I finished the T-28 and it flies great! It's a little sensitive on the elevator but other than that, everything went well. The ESC came loose so I attached it better, and I adjusted the nose wheel to be more straight. Other than those two minor issues, it was a stress-free (re)maiden. It really looks good with the gear up. The final pics are below - thanks for reading!
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