The Trojan Phlyers Flight Demonstration Team are gearing up for EAA Air Venture.
The team operates with Trig transponders and radios. They will be taking centre stage, at the world’s biggest air show. Chip Lamb, team leader said, “This is our second consecutive invitation – so we are proud that the folks at the EAA chose to invite us again.”
Behind the scenes, the work required to maintain their T-28 warbirds, whilst training to display standards is demanding and non-stop. Chip explained, “From November to February, we do our required annual inspections to make sure the aircraft are in flying condition, if we intend to make any modifications (like installing Trig avionics equipment), we’ll do it at the same time to minimize the down time and any impact on the air show season.”
Servicing ex-military aircraft from the 1950’s creates some fascinating challenges. Chip shared, “Interestingly, some parts are plentiful, cheap, and easy to find, whereas some parts are impossible to find and if you do find them, they are very expensive. We hope for the former and not the latter. Newer digital avionics are making equipping the aircraft easier with more options and more accuracy. Think GPS approaches and all DC (no AC) current. Also, we now have engine monitors that give us the ability to observe the health of our engines, this allows us to diagnose problems faster and more accurately.”
For the Trojan Phlyers the pre-season preparations were disrupted by a major engine problem that grounded Chip’s aircraft. This limited the availability to fly the normal two-ship T28 formation aerobatic routine – the specific act that is unique to the air show circuit. Chip and the team worked hard to secure another T28 as a substitute, but also carry out the necessary flying practice to co-ordinate this alternative airframe into their display.
It is testament to the team’s efforts that two T-28 aircraft will be back in the air at Air Venture. Chip shared, “We are evaluating what it will require to get my aircraft flying again.” Asked about Chip’s plans should an alternative T-28 become part of the display he said, “We enjoy our Trig equipment and appreciate its durability. Should we pick up another aircraft, our first move will be to remove and replace the avionics with Trig products!”