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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 D categories. 

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 paint jobs. 

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 Aero. 

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 rewarding information. 

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 Dog) 

We really enjoy flying the plane and have several upgrades and modifications planned after Airventure 2009. 

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.

 

 

 

 

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