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MEET DITTO


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Ditto's Office

A close-up Ditto's Instrument Panel. Herb showing off his custom smoke vents on Ditto.

Ditto, a former NAVY aircraft carrier trainer debuted in the air show business in 1998 after Herb and his crew completed a detailed 4-year restoration that won the Best T-28 Award at Oshkosh in 1996. Taking a “basket case” T-28 and making her better than new was the challenge Herb and his crew took on to make her one of the five best T-28 restorations in the country. That challenge included disassembling every nut and bolt, cleaning, inspecting, repairing and overhauling every component, fabricating and installing completely new wiring and electronics harness, new hydraulic lines, incorporating modern solid-state electronics and other improvements; all the while keeping the original look! The custom wing-tip smoke system that Herb designed and installed in 2004 to enhance his performance has created much more fan excitement than he ever anticipated.

Ditto continues to get special treatment from Herb, an accomplished aircraft mechanic who does all the maintenance himself. Herb is a graduate of the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering School at Parks College, St Louis University.


Ditto's Bio

a T-28 on a aircraft carrier ready for take-off.

The T-28 was used by all military services in some capacity, but most extensively by the NAVY as a trainer in the 50's through the 80's. Four models of T-28 aircraft were built.

The A model used by the U.S. Air Force had an 800 hp engine. The NAVY's B and C models with a 1425 hp engine were used for jet transition, instrument training and aircraft carrier qualification training.

T-28s normally cruise at 200-260 mph with a redline speed of 400 mph and burn 55 gallons of gas per hour. They are equipped with a oxygen system and are able to fly as high as 35,000 feet. Their 1,425 hp 9-cylinder radial engine has a very distinctive rumbling sound.

Modified for ground attack fighter-bombers, D models fitted with armament and extraction seats were very successfully flown by the CIA's covert Air America and Ravens pilots and the air forces of South Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand during the Vietnam war. The D-10 model weighed up to 12,800 pounds.

a T-28 equipped for war.
Ditto flying its nose through a smoke ring.

The NAVY accepted “Ditto,” one of the 397 T28Cs built by North American Aviation, on May 16, 1957. The plane served with VT-3 & VT-27 in the Gulf of Mexico on two carries, the Antietam and the Lexington, which sailed training cruises between Pensacola, FL., and Corpus Christi, TX., until the late 1970's.

She was purchased as a basket case and required 16,000 man-hours to restore her from 1992 — 1996. She won best T-28 award at the Oshkosh convention. Ditto is the only T-28C performing full-time professional aerobatics in airshows. Her new wing-tip vortex smoke system is the only one in the world, shown performing “Smoke-Ring Aerobatics.”