When I first got in the US ARMY this and the Mohawk where my favorite Fixed Wing aircraft.
The North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco is an American turboprop light attack and observation aircraft. It was developed in the 1960s as a special aircraft for counter-insurgency (COIN) combat, and one of its primary missions was as a forward air control (FAC) aircraft. It can carry up to three tons of external munitions, internal loads such as paratroopers or stretchers, and can loiter for three or more hours.
The aircraft was initially conceived in the early 1960s through an informal collaboration between WH Beckett and Colonel KP Rice, U.S. Marine Corps, who met at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, and who also happened to live near each other. The original concept was for a rugged, simple, close air support aircraft integrated with forward ground operations. At the time, the U.S. Army was still experimenting with armed helicopters, and the U.S. Air Force was not interested in close air support.
The concept aircraft was to operate from expedient forward air bases using roads as runways. Speed was to be from very slow to medium subsonic, with much longer loiter times than a pure jet. Efficient turboprop engines would give better performance than piston engines. Weapons were to be mounted on the centerline to get efficient unranged aiming like the Lockheed P-38 Lightning and North American F-86 Sabre aircraft. The inventors favored strafing weapons such as self-loading recoilless rifles, which could deliver aimed explosive shells with less recoil than cannons, and a lower per-round weight than rockets. The airframe was to be designed to avoid the back blast.
Light Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft
A "tri-service" specification for the Light Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft (LARA) was approved by the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Army and was issued in late 1963. The LARA requirement was based on a perceived need for a new type of "jungle fighting" versatile light attack and observation aircraft. Existing military aircraft in the observation role, such as the Cessna O-1 Bird Dog and Cessna O-2 Skymaster, were perceived as obsolescent
The Bronco performed observation, forward air control, helicopter escort, armed reconnaissance, utility light air transport and limited ground attack. The Bronco has also performed aerial radiological reconnaissance, tactical air observation, artillery and naval gunfirespotting, airborne control of tactical air support operations and front line, low-level aerial photography. A prototype in Vietnam designed to lay smoke was extremely successful, kept in service by evaluators for several months, and only reluctantly released
- Crew: two
- Length: 41 ft 7 in (12.67 m)
- Wingspan: 40 ft 0 in (12.19 m)
- Height: 15 ft 2 in (4.62 m)
- Wing area: 290.95 ft² (27.03 m²)
- Empty weight: 6,893 lb (3,127 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 14,444 lb (6,552 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × Garrett T76-G-410/412 turboprop, 715 hp (533 kW) each
- Guns: 4 × 7.62×51mm M60C machine guns
- Hardpoints: 5 fuselage and 2 underwing and provisions to carry combinations of: