OV-10A “Bronco”

BY NORTH AMERICAN, ROCKWELL

The OV-10A was a twin-turboprop short takeoff and landing aircraft conceived by the U.S. Marine Corps and developed under a U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps tri-service program. The first production OV-10A was ordered in 1966 and its initial flight took place in August 1967.

The Bronco’s missions included observation, forward air control (FAC), helicopter escort, armed reconnaissance, gunfire spotting, utility and limited ground attack. The USAF, however, acquired the Bronco primarily as a FAC aircraft. Adding to its versatility is a rear fuselage compartment with a capacity of 3,200 pounds of cargo, five combat equipped troops or two litter patients and a medical attendant.

The first USAF OV-10As destined for combat arrived in Vietnam in July 1968. A total of 157 OV-10As were delivered to the USAF before production ended in April 1969.

The aircraft on display was delivered to the USAF in October 1968 and was shipped directly to the 504th Tactical Air Support group at Ben Hoa Air Base, Vietnam. It remained in South East Asia until June 1974 when it was assigned to the 507th Tactical Air Control Wing (TACW) at Shaw AFB, SC. It was later served with the 601st TACW at Sembach AB, Germany, and 602nd TACW at George AFB, CA before retiring from the 507th at Shaw AFB in December 1988. It later became a ground instructional trainer at Sheppard AFB, TX and was transferred to the Museum in 2008.

SPECIFICATIONS:
Span: 40 ft.
Length: 41 ft. 7 in.
Height: 15 ft. 1 in.
Weight: 14,444lbs max.
Armament: Four M-60C 7.62mm machine guns in fuselage, plus 3,600 lbs. of external stores
Engine: Two Garret-AiResarch T76 tuboprops of 715 shaft hp. ea.
Serial Number: 67-14623

PERFORMANCE:
Maximum speed: 281 mph.
Cruising speed: 223 mph.
Range: 1,240 miles
Service ceiling: 26,000 ft.