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Air-Force OV-10 Operators2019-01-04T17:05:42+00:00

This is the aircraft at the U.S. Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB – This is the picture available from their website. For all of my fellow computer geeks out there, I should point out that this picture makes an excellent Windows wallpaper. If you have Windows, just right-click on top of the picture and select Set As Wallpaper and you’ll have it saved as your Desktop background image.

This is the aircraft at the U.S. Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB.

This is a view of the rear fuselage of an anonymous Air Force OV-10A, probably taken at Patrick AFB in the early 1980s. This series of pictures was contributed by David Culp, who flew Broncos in the Air Force with the 20th TASS (Tactical Air Support Squadron) for two years in Germany, then came back to Patrick AFB here in sunny seaside Florida to instruct as part of the 549th TASTS (Tactical Air Support Training Squadron). This series of black and white photos was used for armaments training.

Next in the armament series is this view of the right side. Note the unusual-looking panel behind the exhaust. Note also the formation light on the boom.

An excellent shot of the sponson with a typical load of training armaments. On the right side, we have a load of six BDU-33 practice bombs out of eight possible – four per rack. The rack was painted gray, while the bombs were painted blue (like most training ordnance) and weighed about 23 pounds apiece. The bombs also carried a small white smoke charge so it would be possible to see where it hit. On the left side is a LAU-68 seven-shot rocket launcher for 2.75 inch folding-fin, or FFAR rockets. These rockets usually carried White Phosphorus (“Willie Pete”) warheads, but could be loaded with high-explosive or flachette warheads. In the foreground is an electrical grounding wire that prevents static electricity from building up and sparking, thus eliminating the possibility of igniting any fuel vapors. This shot was used for armaments training.

Another good view of the rear fuselage, showing the armaments. Notice how the fillets over the joint between the wing and fuselage and boom ends abruptly at the front edge of the flap air scoop. You can also see the relative smoothness of the fiberglass cargo door as compared to the rest of the aircraft. This was an armament training picture.

Another in the armaments training series from David Culp, here we have a good view of the gun installation on the left-side sponson. These are standard M60’s with a solenoid trigger. David points out that “30 caliber guns aren’t of much use on an airplane, so they weren’t carried in Germany.” It looks like this plane has smashed its fair share of bugs though!

Here is an excellent detail shot of the right-hand sponson carrying a load of blue BDU-33 dummy bombs on a gray B37K rack. Bombs of this type typically have flight characteristics that are quite similar to real bombs, but they only have a small smoke charge in them to make the impact point visible from the air so the accuracy of the drop can be scored. It seems that Air Force OV-10 Instructor Pilots (IPs) were rather prone to wagering irrationally large sums of money and/or beer upon their ability to shoot and bomb better than the other IPs, who were of course convinced that they were better and thus would take them up on the offer. Lord only knows how many thousands of gallons of beer and millions of dollars may have changed hands, all over the short ballistic flights of little chunks of metal! You can also see the slot in the side of the sponson where spent machine gun shells are ejected. This shot was used for armaments training.

Here is a good close-up of the back side of the bomb rack and a practice bomb. This shot was used for armaments training.

Here is the backside of the LAU-68 rocket launcher, loaded with five 2.75 inch smoke rockets. At the top is the switch for Ripple or Single mode (it is set to Single in this photo.) I believe that with the Ripple mode, pulling the trigger fired all the rockets in sequence as you would do with high-explosive rounds, while in Single mode each time the pilot pulled the trigger a single rocket would fire as you would want to do for marking target with Willie Pete rounds. This shot was used for armaments training

An enlargement of the previous picture, showing the rarely-seen details of the inboard side of the (right) boom, under the wing. The left side appears to be similar. Photo by David Culp.

This picture of an OV-10A is likely the most common OV-10 picture on the Internet.

This was found at the USAF Museum site at the URL The caption reads “Another variation on the insigne designed for use on camouflaged aircraft is seen on this OV-10A serving in Korea in 1977.” (It is on the page devoted to the evolution of the USAF’s insignia, and I just stumbled across an OV-10 picture while looking for a good Stars and Bars insignia.)

This photo was pulled from the Flug-revenue website. However their website is no longer available.

This is an Air Force OV-10A on the ramp in Vietnam, courtesy Mr. Peter Bird and his extensive Vietnam site at

I found this at which incorrectly lists these as BATF aircraft. The BATF aircraft are now owned by the U.S. State Department, and are being retrofitted by DynCorp at Patrick AFB in Florida for drug-field spraying duties in Central and South America. However, since all State Dept. OV-10s are ex-Marines D models, it is impossible that this picture is actually of a State Department plane. (There are many detailed pictures of those aircraft on the State Dept. page.)

This nice shot of an Air Force OV-10A coming in for landing was found at (Note: this page is in French.)

The site this came from reads:

Although the U.S. Air Force no longer flies the OV-10, other countries continue to operate the Bronco. The OV-10A is a twin-turboprop short takeoff and landing aircraft conceived by the Marine Corps and developed under an Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps tri-service program. The first production OV-10A was ordered in 1966 and its initial flight took place in August 1967. The Bronco’s mission capabilities include observation, forward air control, helicopter escort, armed reconnaissance, gunfire spotting, utility and limited ground attack; however, the USAF acquired the Bronco primarily as a forward air control (FAC) aircraft. Adding to its versatility is a rear fuselage compartment with a capacity of 3,200 pounds of cargo, five combat-equipped troops, or two litter patients and a medical attendant. The first USAF OV-10As destined for combat arrived in Vietnam on July 31, 1968. A total of 157 OV-10As were delivered to the USAF before production ended in April 1969.

Smaller, left-right reversed version at or Pix/USAF/usaf_ov10a_flying_headon_1.jpg (WIDTH=523 HEIGHT=233 SIZE=40KB)