DAYTON, Ohio -- Lt. Col. Fredrick L. Pumroy stands beside the North American Rockwell OV-10A Bronco in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Pumroy was a forward air controller in the OV-10 during the Southeast Asia War. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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, helicopter escort, armed reconnaissance, gunfire spotting, utility and limited ground attack. The USAF, however, acquired the Bronco primarily as a forward air control (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 came to the museum in October 1991 and is painted as it appeared when it served in Southeast Asia.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: Four M-60C 7.62mm machine guns in fuselage, plus 3,600 lbs. of external stores Engines: Two Garrett-AiResearch T76 turboprops of 715 shaft hp each Maximum speed: 281 mph Cruising speed: 223 mph Range: 1,240 miles Ceiling: 26,000 ft. Span: 40 ft. Length: 41 ft. 7 in. Height: 15 ft. 1 in. Weight: 14,444 lbs. maximum