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Author Topic: North American OV-10 Bronco  (Read 25448 times)
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Scott Youmans
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« on: November 24, 2011, 01:28:00 PM »

The OV-10 has been the most influential aircraft in terms of getting me interested in aviation photography.  Most of my trips to Sky Harbor during the seventies and eighties were made in the hope of seeing one there. It was through our mutual interest in the Bronco that I met Joe Copalman many years before the creation of AzAP.

What better place to start than with a posting of the very first Bronco, most likely prior to its first flight, at the North American plant in Columbus, Ohio in the summer of 1965.  This plant also produced the F-100, Fury, Vigilante, and Buckeye.

Photo: North American Aviation via Garrett.


* YOV-10A_152879_a.jpg (381.58 KB, 1600x1088 - viewed 556 times.)
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2011, 01:33:51 PM »

Well worn OV-10A 155425 of VMO-2 at Camp Pendleton in March of 1980. Kodachrome.


* OV-10A_155425_3-80_35P_16b.jpg (319.23 KB, 1572x924 - viewed 655 times.)
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2011, 07:01:48 PM »

Thanks for getting this party started, Scott.  I still have a few of the Bronco prints you gave me waaaaaaay back - still framed and everything.  That BLM bird you shot from the old tower is still one of my favorite OV-10 shots.

And that shot of 425 is great.  If I recall, "Grump" designed that livery during his tenure with VMO-2 in the mid-70s.  Can't imagine it was worn much longer after you shot this.
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2011, 07:33:57 PM »

Cool shots.. Does this one count?? 

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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2011, 08:58:49 PM »

Joe, thanks, I've got a lot to pull from and will be posting things regularly.  They started to phase out that paint scheme right around that time in favor of the all green low-IR paint.  They did keep the horseshoes though. Tail code had been UV previously but they must have gotten permission to use UU to go along with the Bronco/Horse theme.

Eric, great shot! That one definitely counts.  Here's a somewhat less dynamic shot of that aircraft when it was serving with VM0-4 and was visiting North Island along with the rest of the squadron.  8/7/1980.



* North Amercian OV-10A_155401_8-7-80_NI_19b_SCY.jpg (370.03 KB, 1600x1117 - viewed 870 times.)
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2011, 09:20:14 PM »

Here's the second prototype (152880) as it appeared in 1980. By this time it had received the 40 foot wing (among other things) and the longer nose of the D for which it served as the aerodynamic prototype.  After flying for a while at PAX it was retired to MASDC where I was delighted to see it "in person".

All of the seven prototypes were originally built with the very short 30 foot wing.  152880 was the subject of the original Hawk 1/48 the kit.  Testor's later attempted to make a production OV-10A out of it but fell short in many key respects. There were a number of subtle and some not so subtle changes that they simply failed to address.


* YOV-10D_152880_7-12-80_35P_SCY_36d.jpg (397.36 KB, 1600x1067 - viewed 431 times.)
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2011, 09:52:05 PM »

Since you guys are dredging up old Bronco shots, here are a couple taken at an air show at Dulles in 1969. I don't have an identity for this aircraft. It was in a Rockwell exhibit at the show. Maybe somebody here knows the serial.

(Ignore the goofballs in the shorts in front of the plane.)





* img070.jpg (407.72 KB, 1024x614 - viewed 364 times.)

* img071.jpg (418.53 KB, 1024x615 - viewed 362 times.)
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2011, 09:55:36 PM »

Here's another one from the same show at Dulles. This one flew during the show. It is 155394, which was reportedly shot down in Vietnam.



* img355.jpg (101.58 KB, 1024x613 - viewed 387 times.)
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2011, 10:48:04 PM »

Here's another one from the same show at Dulles. This one flew during the show. It is 155394, which was reportedly shot down in Vietnam.



Yup.  This one went to the Navy with VAL-4.  Shot down in October 1971, both crew ejected and were rescued.  The OV-10D on display at the Flying Leatherneck Museum at Miramar is another former VAL-4 aircraft.  Took several hits, but was never shot down.  

Just noticed that pod underneath the right sponson.  What the heck is that?
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 10:54:06 PM by Joe Copalman » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2011, 08:24:14 AM »

Rockwell OV-10D Bronco USMC 155494 UU 01 VMO-2 Camp Pendleton Flying Leathernecks Aviation Museum.
"The Flying Leathernecks' OV-10D Bronco was flown by VAL-4 "Black Ponies" during the Vietnam War. The OV-10 was brought up to OV-10D standards and transferred to VMO-2. Our aircraft was painted in desert camouflage colors prior to flying to the Middle East in 1991."




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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2011, 09:29:50 PM »

Here's a rare photo showing the first two prototypes on the ramp at North American in Columbus. Taken late 1965 or early 1966.  This is the only photo I've ever seen of the first prototype with sponsons installed.  Notice that both aircraft have the instrumented booms attached to the wingtips.  These hard points were designed to carry Sidewinders but the production version with its longer 40 foot wing used standard underwing pylons for that purpose.  North American photo via Chuck Burin.


* H81-10317B_s2.jpg (397.27 KB, 1600x717 - viewed 500 times.)
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2011, 09:56:50 PM »

Here's one taken at a place we're all familiar with, Williams AFB in October 1973.  The 20mm gun pod on the centerline station was impressive.  155472/VMO-2.

I didn't crop the guy to the right out of the picture so the Grumman E-1B would be visible.  Also note the USMC AH-1G in the background.  One of 38 operated by the Marines before they received the AH-1J.


* OV-10A_155472_10-73_Willie_35P_4b_SCY.jpg (360.41 KB, 1600x944 - viewed 534 times.)
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2011, 09:59:52 PM »

155472 is at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola now, in Navy colors.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/deltascrew/6266742317/
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2011, 11:33:05 PM »

I wish the museum had not ignored the fact that 155472 is now a D-model but was an A when it served with VAL-4 (Black Ponies).  Quite a big difference in appearance.

A VAL-4 pilot flying 155472 in South Vietnam was killed by a single round. The back-seater landed the plane. Very sad story.
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2011, 09:22:27 AM »

Agreed.  Marine Air still falls under the umbrella of Naval Aviation, and 472 spent the overwhelming majority of its service life in Marine markings.  Maybe they tried to justify with some tie-in to the NOGS prototypes being OPEVALed with VAL-4, but even that's a total stretch.

At least they didn't put a different BuNo on it and paint it in markings it never wore. 

Love that shot from Willie, Scott, that GPU-2 pod was an awesome weapon.  Is that an OV-1 to the left?
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