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Thread: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

  1. #1
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    Default The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    Although fully retired by the military a while back, tihs Vietnam-era plane is being brought back:

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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    I'm not a wonk - but wonder what it offers over the Warthog?
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    Quote Originally Posted by George Jung View Post
    I'm not a wonk - but wonder what it offers over the Warthog?
    Availability, perhaps. Lots of Warthogs are in Arizona, awaiting wing repair/replacement. The OV-10 might be cheaper to operate, as well... according to the wiki, it's turboprops are designed to run on gasoline, if the usual kerosene-based fuel is unavailable.
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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    We used them as artillery and air support observation platforms, very effective if the air space is secure.

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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    “What, Me Worry?". -. A. E. Newman

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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    > what it offers over the Warthog?

    In addition to the A10 the USAF has another aerial attack craft that can deliver devastating armaments.

    I think they want something small/nimble, which fields guns as well as rockets; can do medivac or deliver/retrieve troops; loiter on reconnaissance. The A10 has a rapid-firing 30mm cannon which is great for taking out tanks, but it is Way overpowered for Toyota pickup trucks and personnel. The Bronco has multiple .3" guns and a small cannon.

    Although the A10 was known to be nearly invulnerable to small-arms fire, the OV-10 appears to be highly vulnerable in that regard.

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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    Reliable and inexpensive...


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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    The Warthog seems like a much better idea. You do NOT want to bale out over ISIS territory.
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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    Super Tucano in #5. A Pucara would work too. There are any number of COIN aircraft out there.
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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    The whole thing seems very unlikely...

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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    Back in the early 70's one like this one hung on fishing line from my bedroom ceiling.




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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    Good friend of mine who I use to fly copilot for flew the OV-10 in the USMC. Loved the airplane. He supported a number of DEA and Customs anti drug missions.
    Down in Beaufort they use one for mosquito spraying. They cruise around 200' AGL. I'd like to have that job after I retire from the big jets!
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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    Magnitudes cheaper to fly. Extremely short take off/landing requirements. I spent some time calling in arty/air support from them.

    F15 $42,200/hr Too fast for FAC
    A10 $11,500/hr
    OV10 $1,000/hr Can loiter for 3-4 hours.
    Last edited by Donn; 03-14-2017 at 05:03 PM.

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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    We loved those WWII prop Skyraiders. Figured they were slow enough to get the bombs on the VC and not us. this move seems to make too much sense to be real. Seemed the hot jet lobbyists were after the Warthog with a vengance. Ask a grunt what he wants in air support.

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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    Quote Originally Posted by Donn View Post
    Magnitudes cheaper to fly. Extremely short take off/landing requirements. I spent some time calling in arty/air support from them.

    F15 $42,200/hr Too fast for FAC
    A10 $11,500/hr
    OV10 $1,000/hr Can loiter for 3-4 hours.
    No way can an OV-10 -- 2 turboprops -- cost $1000/hr. Beech 1900s charter for more than that.

    Plus you've got a 1970s airframe there. It'll cost a lot to upgrade and make ready for combat -- that's if the spars are good, not corroded or stressed.

    I have a job involving historic aircraft restoration. My radar goes to 10 when I see a number like that. A Mustang cost $2M to restore properly, and the engine is only 120T of that.

    Old sheet metal is not good sheet metal.

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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    No way can an OV-10 -- 2 turboprops -- cost $1000/hr. Beech 1900s charter for more than that.

    Plus you've got a 1970s airframe there. It'll cost a lot to upgrade and make ready for combat -- that's if the spars are good, not corroded or stressed.

    I have a job involving historic aircraft restoration. My radar goes to 10 when I see a number like that. A Mustang cost $2M to restore properly, and the engine is only 120T of that.

    Old sheet metal is not good sheet metal.
    Is there a modern equivalent to the OV 10? It looks like the airplane version of a Toyota pickup.

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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    No way can an OV-10 -- 2 turboprops -- cost $1000/hr. Beech 1900s charter for more than that.

    Plus you've got a 1970s airframe there. It'll cost a lot to upgrade and make ready for combat -- that's if the spars are good, not corroded or stressed.

    I have a job involving historic aircraft restoration. My radar goes to 10 when I see a number like that. A Mustang cost $2M to restore properly, and the engine is only 120T of that.

    Old sheet metal is not good sheet metal.
    I read it on the interwebs...it must be true:

    "An F-15 can cost as much as $40,000 per flight-hour just for fuel and maintenance. By contrast, a Bronco can cost as little as $1,000 for an hour of flying."

    Link. About a third of the way down the page.

    Also, the Broncos I rode in were certainly not 1970s airframes. I was riding in them in '69. And they were already armed for combat...4x M60 7.62 machine guns, 2.75" and 5" rockets, Sidewinders and a 500# bomb or so.

    I can attest to the poor quality of the skin, though. I'm not even sure it was steel. I watched more than one AK round enter the bottom snd exit the top.

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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    California's "CalFire" maintains a fleet of Broncos at McClellan Airfield. Must be a least 10 of them down the ramp from us. Along with their S2's.

    Recently they been flying around a lot. Probably maintenance test flights and pilot training. Which is exactly what were doing with our helicopters now. Fire season is around the corner.
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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    Not long after the OV-10 was first introduced, I was with my dad who was shooting in a rifle match on a large national guard base when I saw two of those overhead, playing around in a gentle mock dogfight. I was 10 or younger and didn't know anything, but the profile of the plane was unique and memorable. It's amazing how some stuff I remember, visual stuff, but not important and more useful stuff.

    The original concept for the OV-10 was a small enough plane to operate from jungle roads. Due to design creep, that didn't occur, the span was too large for that, yet smaller than optimum. If these aircraft are refit, I would look into a longer span wing, which, since one piece spanning the entire aircraft, should not introduce increased moment into the fuselage. With modern composites, it would be lighter, and much better lift-to-drag. The twin tails should still be able to handle any increased yaw moment.
    Last edited by Bob (oh, THAT Bob); 03-14-2017 at 11:32 PM.
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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    I had a look over a few a year or so back



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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    While I was at Boeing, the Military side was refitting B-52s for another 50 years of flight per airframe. Hard to get my head around it.More like Architecture than Aeronautics. I think aluminum has a surprisingly shorter fatigue life than say wood epoxy, but an OV-10 has to be amazingly cheaper and safer than anything in recent Helicopters or the Osprey. Probably more time aloft that would aid low intensity operations or even use as a drone launch platform. Also, on a battlefield with increasing AI on anti aircraft gun systems and light ground to air missiles, the Vietnam era Air Superiority environment may be meaningless and Helos may not have anywhere near the survivability that even slow fixed wing aircraft have. Back in my school boy days, we would play board games that simulated Helos doing something in a ground war with a major power like Russia, but there aren't really any examples. Not like Rhodesia or Nam.
    Last edited by Landrith; 03-15-2017 at 01:32 AM.
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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post

    Being used in Afghanistan.
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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    If they want lighter than an A-10, I'd recommend the Scaled Composites (Rutan) ARES:



    I actually saw a demo flight. The roll rate was astounding. Not shown, I think removed by the time of the photo: The jet intake is to port. To starboard is a 20mm gun in a concave on the starboard side of the nose, such that the muzzle blast impinges on the concave to perfectly balance the recoil forces of the offset gun mount (recoil causing yaw to starboard, muzzle blast causing yaw to port).
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    Default Re: The military is bringing back the OV-10 Bronco

    To my uninformed eye, it might even be better than a helo at, oh I dunno.... border patrol duties.
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