Below is an abbreviated copy of
an article published in NATA skylines about the Nomad N2800G
The Lost (
and last) Nomad
By Milt Concannon
Webster defines Nomad as a wanderer with no
fixed residence or home.
This well describes my search for
information on my T 28 Nomad conversion.
Other than the article referenced below,
there is apparently no single repository of information on this
aircrafts design, construction or operational data.
It does not fit neatly into the A, B, C, or
My odyssey began 3 years ago when I came
across a nice looking T 28A on e-bay and became intrigued by the
airplane. Not being one to rush into things I began to
investigate the T 28. Research provided all the standard history
and specifications on the various models. While compiling this
information the occasional reference was made to the Nomad and
the Nomair along with the terms Mark I, and II, but no solid
information on these planes appeared to exist.
While I like to fly, my main interest in
planes is mechanical and historical. It was my intent to buy a
wreck and spend a few years restoring it.
Conversations with some owners and
attendance at a few maintenance seminars convinced me that with
the purchase of an airworthy already refurbished model one would
get most of the restoration and upgrades at 30 cents on the
dollar, given the current market.
My decision was to find a nice B or D model
for the larger engine and resultant performance.
My wife and I looked at many and realized
all of them had greater than 13,000 hours on them and came in 2
flavors, really nice and total wrecks. I was especially
concerned at the degree of corrosion under many of the nice
Two and a half years into my quest N2800G
popped up on the Courtesy Aircraft website billed as a “Mark
III Super Nomad” It, however, was registered as a T 28A. Now I
had briefly seen mention of Mark’s I and II but never III and
never a “Super Nomad”.
Someone in NATA (whose name I am sorry I do
not remember) sent me a copy of an old article in Sport Aviation
by Frank Compton titled November 79 Zulu the Story of the North
American Nomad. I will not regurgitate the entire article here,
only summarize it, as I am sure many of you have already read
it. If not, I would encourage you to do so as it provides great
insight into the development of all the T 28 models.
Frank Compton was North American’s lead
designer for the Army Air Corps XBT trainer competition.
Only 4 Nomads were ever built.
Nomad number one was N79Z ship 226 (49-1714) and became Fennec
prototype 01. It was destroyed during testing. This is the only
Nomad built by North American. The remaining 3 were built by Pac
Nomad number two (Pac Aero number 1) ship
524 (51-3593) then became Fennec prototype number 01 after the
destruction of the original prototype 01. The status of this
aircraft is unknown.
Nomad number three (Pac Aero number 2) ship
682 (51-3751) became Fennec prototype number 2 and when finally
placed in the field became Fennec number 147. This aircraft
survives today and is on the US registry as a T-28B.
Nomad number four (Pac Aero number 3)
N260PA ship number 615 (51-3684) was retained by Pac Aero and is
now registered as a T-28A N2800G.
The cogent points in the article (from the
standpoint of my aircraft) are that only 4 Nomads were ever
constructed. Nomads one through 3 were delivered to the French
and became Fennecs 1 through 3. One of these was destroyed, the
status of one is unknown, and one is currently registered in the
United States as a B model and resides in Arizona. Number 4
converted to a Nomad by Pac Aero was kept as a demonstrator for
possible civilian and military sales. When it appeared the
civilian market would not be a viable option and the D program
was heating up, Pac Aero obtained a ferry permit to fly the
plane from Santa Monica, California to Columbus Ohio for a
conformance inspection and to bring it up to par with the D
military conversions (more on this later). It was then used
briefly by Bell Aerospace and placed in storage, essentially
disappearing from the face of the earth.
After its original conversion to a Nomad
and subsequent upgrades with the D model structural mods and
hard points, the plane flew for awhile as a chase plane for the
Bell X-22 (precursor to the Boeing V22 Osprey). It then sat in
storage and was passed through several owners before George
purchased and restored it.
Naturally my curiosity kept me pursuing
information when along comes Mike Muraski.
Many of you know Mike; he is the current
owner of the Darton Clean Kit (
http://clean-kit.com/2.html ) and the unofficial Nomad
expert. On first contact with Mike it would be putting it mildly
to say he was skeptical that N2800G was a Nomad. As it turns out
over the last 50 years upwards of 20 T 28s have, on and off,
been registered as NA-260 Nomads.
At Mike’s urging I obtained the complete
FAA file on my N2800G which provided some surprising and
The proof that N2800G was the 4th
(and final) Nomad was in the form of a ferry permit for the
flight from Santa Monica to Columbus for the D model conformance
inspection (as noted in the Compton article) and upgrade. Also
were a series of 8 airworthiness applications and the subsequent
certificates from 1960 through 1970 in which the airframe total
time is consistent with the time in the existing aircraft logs.
All of this documentation carried the same
NA and Air Force serial numbers (ship 615 51-3684 ) found on
N2800G’s data plates.
The 4 Nomads were A models that received
the necessary structural mods necessary to bring them up to par,
horsepower wise, with the B models and allow the anticipated
airframe stress to be expected as a ground attack aircraft.
The first engine was the 1820-56 (1300HP)
with a Hamilton Standard 33D59-119 propeller. This apparently
was an approved commercial engine prop combo and along with the
modification of the airframe in accordance with North American
drawing # NA260-00002 (thus the designator NA -260). is the
true definition of a Nomad. Based upon compliance with this
drawing and a certified engine prop combination an actual NA-260
can be certified in the standard category. As you can surmise,
if only 2 remaining Nomads qualify for standard category
certification and neither is, there should be no T 28s
currently certified as NA-260 standard category.
The Nomair was an attempt by Hamilton
Aircraft Company Inc. of Tucson, Arizona at making a civilian
standard category T28A conversion with the large engine. Their
biggest obstacle was to get the Vso below 70 knots, which they
did by extending each wing 4 feet. Two of these were constructed
as T28R-1 and T28R-2, and were certificated under TCDS A1WE.
Their status is currently unknown.
The name Nomad comes from the 1957 Chevy
Station Wagon (with GMs blessing who also owned North American
Aviation at the time).
Mark I means it has the -56 (1300 HP)
engine, Mark II denotes a -76 (1425 HP) engine, and Mark III
denotes a -80 (1535 HP) engine. The term Super comes from the
Super DC3 (Navy R4D-8 or C117) from which the current certified
prop/engine combination were taken.
As you can imagine, which flight or ops
manual to use as a guide to aircraft operation is somewhat
problematic. From an original Nomad (-56 engine) manual provided
by Mike Muraski, an old A model manual and an Air Force dash one
D model manual I have cobbled together an Ops manual that
appears to work well.
Having spent many years in the Marine Corps
I really wanted to name the plane “Devil Dog”, a name with which
the Germans tagged Marines at the WWI battle of Belleau Wood in
France. Unfortunately there was already a Navy livery T 28 with
that moniker (which I cannot understand) as well as a B 25
labeled Devil Dog, so I settled on the name Teuffel Hunden which
is the original German term for hell hound (translated as Devil
We really enjoy flying the plane and have
several upgrades and modifications planned after Airventure
The primary sources for this article were
Frank Compton’s Sport Aviation article “November 79 Zulu the
Story of the North American Nomad” (date and volume unknown) ,
correspondence with Mike Muraski as well as numerous web pages
and North American, as well as, Wright Cyclone publications.