Thursday, March 2, 2017

North American Rockwell OV-10B "Bronco"

North American Rockwell OV-10B "Bronco"at Hahnweide Oldtimertreffen 2016, GermanyRegistration: F-AZKM, former Germany Airforce "99+24"c/n: 338-9, built in 1969owned by: Musée Européen de l'Aviation de Chasse, Montelimar, France

Here a North American Rockwell OV-10A-15-NH Bronco of the 601st Tactical Control Wing Tigers based out of Sembach AB, Germany is seen resting on the sunny Spanish tarmac of Zaragoza Air Base. The OV-10 was borne out of a "tri-service" (USA/USAF/USMC) specification called "LARA" (the Light Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft) that was issued at the end of 1963. It called for an aircraft with very small wingspans of around 20 feet that could land in nearly any small clearing and use the same ammunition and fuel as ground troops used. Over time various armament were fitted to the Bronco including 7.62 mm and 12.7mm machine guns, 20mm cannon, as well as Sidewinder missiles. There were even test firings of recoiless rifles mounted to the aircraft. This particular Bronco was eventually transferred to the Air Force of Venezuela (Fuerza Aérea Venezolana or FAV) as FAV 9004. According to some sources, the FAV still operates approximately 15 OV-10A Broncos in the Forward Air Controller (FAC) and Counter-Insurgency (COIN) roles. Although we have not been able to ascertain 67-14624's current disposition, it may be flying with the Grupo Aereo de Operaciones Especiales No. 15 or Bronqueros, which still flies Border Patrol/COIN missions with the FAV. 
Photo Credit: Scott Wilson.<---