The North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco is a twin engined turboprop
light attack and observation aircraft. It was developed in the 1960s by
North American Aviation (NAA) through the United States Marine Corps
Light Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft (LARA) program, to meet the
requirement for a dedicated counter-insurgency (COIN) aircraft. Convair
produced the Convair Model 48 Charger and North American Aviation
produced the NA-300 to meet the requirement for the light attack and
observation aircraft that could operate from short and rugged runways.
In August 1964, the North American Aviation NA-300 was announced as the
winner of the LARA competition. In October 1963, a contract for seven
YOV-10A prototypes emerged from the development of the NA-300. On 16
July 1965, the first YOV-10A prototype (No. 52879) Bronco flew first.
The performance of the YOV-10A resulted in 1966 in a production contract
for the OV-10A Bronco. The initial Bronco production model, the twin
engined North American Aviation OV-10A Bronco was powered by two 660 hp
Garrett Airesearch T76-G-410/412 series turboprops. The pilot and
co-pilot sat in tandem in a full-windowed cockpit. The fuselage nacelle
featured a cabin area at rear with space for two medical litters and one
medical attendant or five combat-ready infantrymen. The OV-10A Bronco
proved itself during the Vietnam War, mainly in the FAC (Forward Air
Control) and helicopter escort role. The North American Rockwell OV-10B
and OV-10B(Z) were both target tugs produced for Germany, the latter
fitted with a General Electric J85-GE-4 small single-shaft turbojet
engine on the top of the hull. Eighteen aircraft were delivered in the
late 60's to the Feral German Air Force. These OV-10B Broncos were
equipped with target towing equipment inside the fuselage. A clear dome
replaced the rear cargo door and a rear seat was installed in the cargo
bay to look backwards out of the dome. Designations for the OV-10C,
OV-10E and OV-10F models were all for export to Thailand, Venezuela and
Indonesia respectively and all based on the OV-10A production model.
The OV-10M was a modified OV-10A model for the Philippines Air Force. In
March 1967, North American Aviation merged with Rockwell-Standard, and
the merged company became known as North American Rockwell. In 1973, the
company changed its name to Rockwell International and named its
aircraft division North American Aircraft Operations.Production of the
Bronco ended in April 1976 with 356 OV-10 aircraft built.
To replace the ageing Hawker Sea Fury aircraft in service as target
towing aircrafts with the Deutsche Luftfahrt Beratungsdienst (DLB) from
Lübeck-Blankensee, the Federal German government decided to ordered six
OV-10Bs and twelve OV-10B(Z)s. The OV-10B(Z) carried an additional
thrust General Electric J85-GE-4 turbojet, pylon mounted above the
centre of the wing. A clear dome replaced the rear cargo door. The rear
seat was moved to the cargo bay to look backwards out the dome.....The
target towing version for West Germany had no armament with c/n 338-1 /
18 were produced by North American Columbus, Ohio, under BuNo. 158292 /
158309. The aircraft were initially registered with the MBL
(Materialprufstelle der Bundeswehr für Luftfahrgerät) registrations
D-9545 / D-9562. From 1976, the German Bronco's received the Luftwaffe
FDG (Flugziel Darstellungs Gruppe) 99+16 / 99+33 registrations. In
active service with the Luftwaffe FDG, OV-10B 99+19; 99+22 and 99+23
were written off. From the1990s, the Bronco was replaced as target tug
by the Pilatus PC-9 and all fifteen OV-10B aircraft were retired. Most
of them ended their life in various museums or as instructional
airframe, however some were kept airworthy and still show their
performance during airshows.
On 7 June 2015, the 1971-built North American Rockwell OV-10B Bronco 99+33 was seen
at the static of the Luftwaffe Museum at the former RAF Gatow Air Base
near Berlin. The North American Rockwell OV-10B Bronco c/n 338-18 was
built under USA BuNo.158309 and registered D-9562 in West Germany. In 1976, the aircraft
was re-registered as 99+33. In 1990, the 99+33 was withdrawn from service with FDG. In August 1993,
the Bronco was preserved in the Luftwaffenmuseum bei Uetersen. In 1995, the collection of the
Luftwaffenmuseum was moved from Uetersen to its new location at the former RAF Air Base Gatow near Berlin.
From August 1996 to March 1999, the North American Rockwell OV-10B Bronco 99+33 was stored at Gatow.
Since December 1999, the 99+33 is preserved at the outdoor exhibition of the new Luftwaffenmuseum der
Bundeswehr at Berlin-Gatow. In 2011, the museum was renamed in Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr - Flugplatz Berlin-Gatow.