At one point, the Republic of China (Taiwan) Air Force managed a stock of North American T-28 "Trojan" two-seat prop-driven trainer aircraft to help bring along new generations of military pilots. The original design first flew in 1949 and production spanned from 1950 to 1957 to which 1,948 examples were produced and used by a myriad of global operators. Using this successful acrobatic design as a basis, the Taiwanese moved on development of a slightly more advanced form which ultimately became the indigenous AIDC "T-CH-1" military trainer.
The T-28 origins in the T-CH-1 were readily apparent including the deep fuselage, low monoplane wings and straight-edged tail planes. The cockpit seated two in tandem under a lightly framed canopyoffering good vision out-of-the-cockpit. The undercarriage was a tricycle arrangement and completely retractable. The aircraft's versatility was such that the same airframe was used across the basic trainer / light attack form, a reconnaissance variant (the "R-CH-1") and a weapons trainer (the "A-CH-1"). Power was from an Avco Lycoming T53-L-701 turboprop engine developing 1,450 horsepower and performance specifications included a maximum speed of 370 miles per hour, a cruise speed of 195 miles per hour, a range out to 1,250 miles and a service ceiling up to 32,000 feet.
The initial prototype went airborne for the first time on November 23rd, 1973 and a second prototype followed in 1974. Progress was good enough that an order for fifty of the type was placed by the Air Force and deliveries spanned from 1976 into 1981. Coupled with the two prototypes, the 52 machines was all that was produced of the line.
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