North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco

1st Flight 1965

The North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco is an American twin-turboprop light attack and observation aircraft.

It was developed in the 1960s as a special aircraft for counter-insurgency (COIN) combat, and one of its primary missions was as a forward air control (FAC) aircraft.

It can carry up to 3,200 lb (1,450 kg) of external munitions, internal loads such as paratroopers or stretchers, and loiter for three or more hours.

Variants

YOV-10A

Seven prototype NA-300s with two 600 shp T76-G-6/8 engines, last one was flown with YT74-P-1 engines.

OV-10A

Original production version with enlarged wing and 715 shp T76-G-10/12 engines.

Distinguished by a long-wire HF antenna between the centre rear stabilizer and the central nacelle, 114 for the United States Marine Corps and 157 for the United States Air Force.

OV-10B

Target towing variant for Germany, with a target towing pod mounted beneath the fuselage.

A clear dome replaced the rear cargo door.

The rear seat was moved to the cargo bay to look backwards out the dome, 18 built; known as the OV-10B(Z) when fitted with an additional J85-GE-4 turbojet.

OV-10B (Z)

A variation of the German target tug, with one J85-GE-4 turbojet mounted in a nacelle above the fuselage.

A total of 18 aircraft were supplied to the Germans.

OV-10C

Export version for Thailand; based on the OV-10A, 32 built.

YOV-10D (NOGS)

The prototype Night Observation Gunship System variant developed as the YOV-10D.

OV-10D

Second generation Bronco developed under the NOGS program.

The D-model was an extensively modified OV-10A airframe, adding a forward-looking infrared night-vision system with a turret-mounted camera under an extended nose, visually distinct from the short rounded nose of the A-model.

The D also has bigger engines and larger fiberglass propellers.

Other noticeable external differences are the chaff dispensers installed midway down the booms and infrared-suppressive exhaust stacks (which mix the exhaust with colder air to reduce the aircraft’s heat signature).

17 modified from OV-10A.

OV-10D+

The next USMC upgrade, consisting of A and D aircraft being extensively reworked at MCAS Cherry Point Naval Air Rework Facility with new wiring and strengthened wings.

Engine instrumentation was changed from round dials to tape readouts.

OV-10E

Export version for Venezuela; based on the OV-10A, 16 built.

OV-10F

Export version for Indonesia; based on the OV-10A, 16 built.

OV-10G+

Designation given to OV-10s loaned from NASA to the United States Special Operations Command for evaluation under the Combat Dragon II as a counter-insurgency aircraft, featuring new Hartzell four-bladed props and an off-the-shelf sensor suite.

3 modified from OV-10D+.

OV-10M (modified)

A four-bladed version of OV-10A; modified to accommodate bigger engines with larger fiberglass props.

Equipped with square chaff dispensers midway down the booms and with new wiring and strengthened wings.

Engine instrumentation was changed from round dials to tape readouts by Marsh Aviation for the Philippine Air Force.

OV-10T

Proposed cargo version of the OV-10, capable of carrying 8–12 troops or 4,500 pounds (2,000 kg) of cargo, studied during the Vietnam War but not developed.

Specifications

Crew: 2

Capacity: cargo compartment for personnel (no seats) or 3,200 lb (1,451 kg) of freight

Length: 44 ft 0 in (13.41 m)

Wingspan: 40 ft 0 in (12.19 m)

Height: 15 ft 2 in (4.62 m)

Wing area: 291.0 sq ft (27.03 m2)

Airfoil: NACA 64A315

Empty weight: 6,893 lb (3,127 kg)

Gross weight: 9,908 lb (4,494 kg)

Max take-off weight: 14,444 lb (6,552 kg) (overload)

Fuel capacity: 252 US gal (210 imp gal; 950 L) internal

Powerplant: 2 × Garrett T76-G-420/421 turboprop engines, 1,040 shp (780 kW) each equivalent

Propellers: 3-bladed Hamilton Standard, 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m) diameter constant-speed fully feathering propellers

Performance

Maximum speed: 250 kn (290 mph, 460 km/h) at sea level

Combat range: 198 nmi (228 mi, 367 km)

Ferry range: 1,200 nmi (1,400 mi, 2,200 km) with auxiliary fuel

Service ceiling: 30,000 ft (9,100 m)

Rate of climb: 3,020 ft/min (15.3 m/s)

Take-off run: 740 ft (226 m)

Take-off distance to 50 ft (15 m): 1,120 ft (341 m)

Take-off distance to 50 ft (15 m): 2,800 ft (853 m) at MTOW

Landing run: 740 ft (226 m)

Landing run: 1,250 ft (381 m) at MTOW

Landing distance from 50 ft (15 m): 1,220 ft (372 m)

Armament

Guns: 1 × 20 mm (0.79 in) M197 electric cannon (YOV-10D) or 4 × 7.62×51 mm M60C machine guns (OV-10D/D+)

Hard points: 5 fuselage and 2 under wing with provisions to carry combinations of:

Rockets: 7- or 19-tube launchers for 2.75 in FFARs/2.75 in WAFARs or 2- or 4-tube launchers for 5 in FFARs or WAFARs

Missiles: AIM-9 Sidewinder on wings only

Bombs: up to 500 lb (227 kg).

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