Will there soon be a Boeing OV-10G Bronco?

Stargazer2006

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According to www.MilitaryFactory.com...

Boeing is considering bringing back the OV-10 Bronco due to increased global interest in a light strike aircraft of this type.

The last combat engagement for United States Broncos was in Operation Desert Storm. As the Bronco was originally designed for the rigors of tropical jungle operations, Desert Storm proved to be an "acting experiment" for the Bronco system. Some in the USAF were even reluctant to field the type for fear that the system would not match well in the modern conflict across unforgiving desert terrain. Nevertheless, the USMC sent their Broncos into Saudi Arabia making up USMC VMO-1 and VMO-2. In the conflict, the first aircraft lost to enemy fire was an OV-10A from VMO-2.

As of this writing, interest in the OV-10 series is growing to the point that talk of restarting the production lines have been tossed about for both domestic and global markets. Boeing is currently considering such plans and would involve a complete redesign of the internal systems to bring the Bronco up to modern status. These revisions would include a complete all-digital cockpit and support for "smart" guided munitions. By all accounts, the external appearance of the new Bronco would stay the same as their Vietnam-era brethren.
 

Matej

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And its competitor except AT-6B probably will be...... tramtararaaaa..... Piper PA-48, what is in fact turboprop derivation of the ww2 design P-51 Mustang!

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2009/07/usaf-officially-launches-light.html
http://g2globalsolutions.com/review/?p=2186
 

Stargazer2006

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:eek: WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good concepts NEVER die! ;D

Look at Hiller's Pawnee or Piasecki's Pathfinder and Aerial Jeep for instance... Who would have bet a penny on them only 10 years ago? Now they are back in style! (X-Hawk, Speedhawk and so forth).

A face-off between the Enforcer and the Bronco (two aircraft originating with North American designs...) is sure interesting to consider... though the Bronco (one of my all-time favorite aircraft types) would definitely have my preference...
 

Matej

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I agree that the P-51 is still a great design (and some sort of generic concept), but I can see at least one important disadvantage - classical old style tricycle landing gear. Not the best choice, especially on the unprepared runways, typical for the COIN aircrafts.
 

HeavyG

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Boeing is going to have plenty of competition in this field. Pilatus and Embraer have proposed COIN variants of their aircraft and the folks who make the Air Tractor agricultural aircraft are even making a COIN version of one their aircraft.
 

Michel Van

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the guy at Combatreform gonna be happy with this News

they now here
http://members.tripod.com/cav_trooper0/rogercooperscavalryremembrance/id46.html

I'm in a dilemma
I like PA-48(P-51) and OV-10 Bronco both ::)
 

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Matej said:
I agree that the P-51 is still a great design (and some sort of generic concept), but I can see at least one important disadvantage - classical old style tricycle landing gear. Not the best choice, especially on the unprepared runways, typical for the COIN aircrafts.

Interestingly, according to
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2009/06/photos-new-gunship-flies-to-pa.html
one of the advantages of the AT-802U Air Truck claimed by Air Tractor is its "old-style" landing gear. According to the referenced FlightGlobal blog (quoting Air Tractor design engineer Lee Jackson):

"The AT-802U must overcome its stigma as an old-fashioned tail-dragger, but Jackson sees its lack of a tricycle landing gear as an advatange in the irregular warfare role. For lighly trained pilots forced to make hard landings on remote strips, the two main gears offer a great advantage, he said. "

I have no personal experience piloting aircraft with either type of landing gear, so I can make no personal observations.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg
 

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"..classical old style tricycle landing gear."

If the customers aren't reasonable enough to regard it as an advantage, as claimed for
the AT-802U, there perhaps still would be the possibility of modifying the good old P-51
into an aircraft with a tricycle landing gear ? This was done (and the other way round)
with some other types, too. The Nord 1000/1100, the Morane-Saulnier Rallye and of
course, the Me 262 come to my mind.
 

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Jemiba said:
"..classical old style tricycle landing gear."

If the customers aren't reasonable enough to regard it as an advantage, as claimed for
the AT-802U, there perhaps still would be the possibility of modifying the good old P-51
into an aircraft with a tricycle landing gear ? This was done (and the other way round)
with some other types, too. The Nord 1000/1100, the Morane-Saulnier Rallye and of
course, the Me 262 come to my mind.

While tail-draggers do quite well on rough strips, many newer aircraft have also been designed to fly on rough and grass strips such as the Pilatus PC-12 or even the now suspended Grob SPn jet just to name a few.
 

AeroFranz

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As much as I like the AT-802, it's fundamentally designed to fly at one speed and one speed only. The agplane flies at less than 100kts during spraying, so it's optimized for that. Clean aerodynamics don't matter much at that speed, hence the fixed gear and raised cockpit, which although providing outstanding visibility, is also the cause of flow separation behind it. Anyway, if the powers that be decide that dash speed is not important, it probably has a good shot at the competition. I'd be curious to know what they intend to do with the hopper, most likely fuel. Oh, and the EO/IR turret might end up in an awkward position, because of the fixed gear (probably on one wing)
 

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Tail-dragger in classic form as the P-51 is the disadvantage in a much complex form, because it has the influence of the shape of the aircraft - it limits the weight distribution (so you cant place everything everywhere), position of the center of the gravity and so. So even if the tail-dragger works well, the modern tricycle landing gear can offer the better performances. Not only by itself, but because of the other benefits and technology possibilities, that it allows to be applied. Tail-dragger has much bigger probability to roll during the hard landing, especially when the plane is damaged and also its directional stability on the ground is not the best (as reported by many of the ww2 pilots). Besides it is good to notice, that there is significant difference between the P-51/PA-48 and the AT-802U. If you take a look on them from side, you can see that the AT-802 is much modern construction philosophy with the wing placed much rearward and with smaller angle with the ground (which means a bit easier maintenance and rearming). Also the difference between the heights of the main gear and rear wheel is significantly smaller on the AT-802U, what compensate a bit different style of the landing.

If the customers aren't reasonable enough to regard it as an advantage, as claimed for
the AT-802U, there perhaps still would be the possibility of modifying the good old P-51
into an aircraft with a tricycle landing gear ?

I don't think so. Consider the number of the changes required to do it. It is not only about to remove the gear and to place it elsewhere. As I wrote earlier, it is about the weight distribution and CG. I can predict that to redesign of the AP-48 will cost more than to design the completely new plane. And then it is much smarter choice to use/buy already produced plane like for example Embraer Super Tucano.
 

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Stargazer2006

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Remember why Batman chose the bat for his costume? To inspire fear in the hearts of the bad guys who would see him dash from the sky onto them like lightning?

Now imagine the bad guys (be they drug traffickers, talibans, arms dealers or whatever) seeing an armed pointed nose ag-plane appear in the sky... and imagine the same seeing a mean upgraded Bronco after them... which of the two is most likely to inspire fear?

If you answered the Bronco, we're buddies! In my humble opinion, part of what makes a COIN aircraft efficient, even if it accounts for only 5 or 10% of it, is how credible and fearsome it is to those who will see it appear in the sky above them... and quite obviously the AT-802U is a joke from that respect.
 

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I would have to say that a COIN aircraft would inspire fear no matter what its origins. I don't think those on the receiving end of fire from an AT-802U would consider the aircraft to be a joke.
 

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A lack of armor protection is my biggest concern about all these COIN aircraft. None of these are exactly as survivable as a P-47 or Sturmovik. Still if we can do it right they could certainly help. Plus it would be good for the Afghan air force.
 

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GAU-8 Avenger said:
A lack of armor protection is my biggest concern about all these COIN aircraft. None of these are exactly as survivable as a P-47 or Sturmovik. Still if we can do it right they could certainly help. Plus it would be good for the Afghan air force.

This is undeniable. Hopefully these aircraft will not have to use WWII or even Vietnam-style tactics, relying instead on the EO/IR, ground designation, and stand-off weapons to increase survivability against optically trained AAA (MANPADS is a totally different matter...). In low threat areas, strafing is probably still relevant, but I wouldn't take chances if a laser-guided rocket, 250-lb bomb, or Hellfire from a distance could do just as well.

I don't know if someone mentioned this already, but the Vietnam-era OV-10 NOGS had a slewable minigun turret which could turn a Bronco into a mini-gunship of sorts. Just like a Spectre though, i wouldn't operate like that except at night. One advantage is that the trainable gun means that the Bronco is not tied to frontal passes or predictable left-hand orbits.
 

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From squadron/signal "Gunships", two photos of the
YOV-10 NOGS (Night Observation GunShip), fitted
with a 20mm XM-197, which was aimed in conjunction
with the laser in the nose turret.
The third photo from the same source shows a standard
OV-10A fitted with a turret housing a GAU-2B minigun,
but obviously without the modifications of the YOV-10D.
 

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Demon Lord Razgriz

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Oh, that's nice. Fit it with the Apache/SuperCobra's helmet control turret system and you have a wicked Bronco. Adding those guided 70mm Hydra rockets that's being developed and you have the perfect COIN aircraft.
 

Jemiba

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Overlooked at the first time, that the mentioned Squadron/Signal even has
a colour drawing, which I don't want to withhold from you:
 

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AeroFranz

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Just a heads up, the next issue of air and space mag is supposed to have an article on the genesis of the Bronco, which is a pretty interesting and curious story.
 

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Two seats two engines, great visablity (no wing in the way) cargo ,stretchers or troops = ov-10

need i say more?
 

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I'm not sure of how ag planes operate in your area, but in mine, the older radial - engined Air tractors worked the fields at about 125 - 145 MPH. When the turboprops started coming out, they were capable of working at about 180 MPH. However, it was soon discovered that any speed above about 165 MPH was distorting the spray patterns. Where their higher speeds came into play were in long(er) ferry runs to & from fields, so, my guess is that the AT-802 as a COIN a/c would be able to perform its mission well above any 100 KPH & NOT operate best at only one speed. IIRC, most of the Air Tractors approach speeds are near 100 MPH or so & touch down around 80.



AeroFranz said:
As much as I like the AT-802, it's fundamentally designed to fly at one speed and one speed only. The agplane flies at less than 100kts during spraying, so it's optimized for that. Clean aerodynamics don't matter much at that speed, hence the fixed gear and raised cockpit, which although providing outstanding visibility, is also the cause of flow separation behind it. Anyway, if the powers that be decide that dash speed is not important, it probably has a good shot at the competition. I'd be curious to know what they intend to do with the hopper, most likely fuel. Oh, and the EO/IR turret might end up in an awkward position, because of the fixed gear (probably on one wing)
 

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Clearly, what's required here is a four-engined Bronco derivative. And I know just where Boeing can go to procure diagrams...
http://www.up-ship.com/drawndoc/drawndocair.htm#airdwg37
adwg37ani.jpg


cough, cough...
 

TinWing

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Orionblamblam said:
Clearly, what's required here is a four-engined Bronco derivative. And I know just where Boeing can go to procure diagrams...
http://www.up-ship.com/drawndoc/drawndocair.htm#airdwg37
adwg37ani.jpg


cough, cough...

If you don't mind me asking, the folding tail and lightweight torpedo lead me to believe that this Bronco proposal was the modern equivalent of the Fairey Swordfish, as it was used during its final years of service in the ASW role from escort carriers. Was there any supporting documentation to support my rather dubious theory?
 
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Can somebody explain why they would want to field some of these instead of just using Predators?
 

AeroFranz

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With a Predator, the decision maker is removed from the action (likely halfway around the world in Nevada) and sees the world through a flat screen. An OV-10G would have two pairs of eyes and much better situation awareness, faster reaction time for time critical targets.
 

TinWing

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sublight said:
Can somebody explain why they would want to field some of these instead of just using Predators?

You could also ask why Nimrod XV230, which was lost over Afghanistan back in 2006, was fitted the same electro-optical turret as a Predator drone? The easy answer is that the sensor hardware in question is well proven and there are advantages to manned platforms. Of course, it is also worth remembering that 14 lives were lost along with Nimrod XV230.

My guess is that placing the sensors and armament of a Predator into a manned platform would simplify certain aspects of operations, at the cost of endurance.

I would also guess that General Atomics isn't all that worried about a few dozen manned COIN platforms when it seems certain that they'll build untold thousands of unmanned systems.
 

yasotay

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AeroFranz said:
With a Predator, the decision maker is removed from the action (likely halfway around the world in Nevada) and sees the world through a flat screen. An OV-10G would have two pairs of eyes and much better situation awareness, faster reaction time for time critical targets.

Two sets of wide angle fast focus multispectral optical devices, with two accoustic sensing systems and an olfactory sensing system integrated into two dual independent high speed processor collaborative AI, if we need be technical. How much would it cost to replicate that on an unmanned system.

If you have never heard a soldier pleading for you to do ANYTHING to stop the enemy from overrunning their postion, it is easy to look at it wtih a calculating eye. Just knowing someone else is there with them, even if making dry passes to make the enemy duck or fire at something else is far to important.

UAS are wonderful devices and they will continue to improve and do tremendous work, but they are a long way from replacing humans. God help us if we get to the point we push buttons and let machines do it all. Why play football when you can have a war instead.

Other than that I have no position on the issue.
 

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Additionally, the OV-10 coudl in principle do things a Predator can't... like drop paratroopers or land on a short field and take troops on board. And engage in air-to-air combat.
 
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sublight

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yasotay said:
AeroFranz said:
With a Predator, the decision maker is removed from the action (likely halfway around the world in Nevada) and sees the world through a flat screen. An OV-10G would have two pairs of eyes and much better situation awareness, faster reaction time for time critical targets.

Two sets of wide angle fast focus multispectral optical devices, with two accoustic sensing systems and an olfactory sensing system integrated into two dual independent high speed processor collaborative AI, if we need be technical. How much would it cost to replicate that on an unmanned system.

If you have never heard a soldier pleading for you to do ANYTHING to stop the enemy from overrunning their postion, it is easy to look at it wtih a calculating eye. Just knowing someone else is there with them, even if making dry passes to make the enemy duck or fire at something else is far to important.

UAS are wonderful devices and they will continue to improve and do tremendous work, but they are a long way from replacing humans. God help us if we get to the point we push buttons and let machines do it all. Why play football when you can have a war instead.

Other than that I have no position on the issue.
I would think given a predator type UAV's cost advantages that you could have more of them overhead in support of the soldiers below pleading for help. Additionally the argument that having real people overhead is outdated. Its technically possible to have more than one camera on board and more than one person looking at the data coming back. There is also no reason that the ground troops couldn't have a laptop of sorts that lets them take a look out the predators viewpoints and send "target suggestions" to the crew operating the drone. I think we are on the tail end of manned combat flight and a platform like this isn't compelling or cost effective. If you really need a guy overhead, put him in an A-10. If you need to pick some guys up, send a Blackhawk.

But that's just me and the 12 trillion dollar debt talking.... :)
 

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sublight said:
yasotay said:
AeroFranz said:
With a Predator, the decision maker is removed from the action (likely halfway around the world in Nevada) and sees the world through a flat screen. An OV-10G would have two pairs of eyes and much better situation awareness, faster reaction time for time critical targets.

Two sets of wide angle fast focus multispectral optical devices, with two acoustic sensing systems and an olfactory sensing system integrated into two dual independent high speed processor collaborative AI, if we need be technical. How much would it cost to replicate that on an unmanned system.

If you have never heard a soldier pleading for you to do ANYTHING to stop the enemy from overrunning their postion, it is easy to look at it with a calculating eye. Just knowing someone else is there with them, even if making dry passes to make the enemy duck or fire at something else is far to important.

UAS are wonderful devices and they will continue to improve and do tremendous work, but they are a long way from replacing humans. God help us if we get to the point we push buttons and let machines do it all. Why play football when you can have a war instead.

Other than that I have no position on the issue.
I would think given a predator type UAV's cost advantages that you could have more of them overhead in support of the soldiers below pleading for help. Additionally the argument that having real people overhead is outdated. Its technically possible to have more than one camera on board and more than one person looking at the data coming back. There is also no reason that the ground troops couldn't have a laptop of sorts that lets them take a look out the predators viewpoints and send "target suggestions" to the crew operating the drone. I think we are on the tail end of manned combat flight and a platform like this isn't compelling or cost effective. If you really need a guy overhead, put him in an A-10. If you need to pick some guys up, send a Blackhawk.

But that's just me and the 12 trillion dollar debt talking.... :)
When all is said and done a Predator is not so inexpensive and as we are seeing no significant savings on personnel when you take into account all of the maintainers and communicators and crews. Putting more sensors on and integrating them jacks the price.

A-10 are the most beloved fixed wing aircraft by the US Army.

There is no reason for troops on the ground not to have computers that let them see what the UAS sees. Agreed, they have them now. Now run two miles and while you are running that two miles try to work a laptop computer. Just a simple word document. That is what it is like when someone or some group is trying to kill you. Adrenaline does fun things to motor skills. Why do you think it takes so many bullets to shoot one enemy. What does the soldier do when the batteries run out, the laptop gets shot or collects shrapnel. What does the soldier do when there is a thousand foot ceiling with multiple cloud layers that defeats sensors and laser codes. What does the soldier do when winds at the airfield precluded take off. What happens when all the troops can do is point where the enemy is.

UAS are great and will become more important, I see this every day. Yet they are not the panacea and to make them the solution to all needs is dangerous.
 
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sublight

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yasotay said:
UAS are great and will become more important, I see this every day. Yet they are not the panacea and to make them the solution to all needs is dangerous.
But a new Boeing OV-10G Bronco, when an A-10 and a Blackhawk will do, is more dangerous.... To my wallet.... :)
 

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sublight said:
But a new Boeing OV-10G Bronco, when an A-10 and a Blackhawk will do, is more dangerous.... To my wallet.... :)

Really? Compare the cost of a new OV-10G program to... well, *anything* the government is doign these days.
 

yasotay

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Orionblamblam said:
sublight said:
But a new Boeing OV-10G Bronco, when an A-10 and a Blackhawk will do, is more dangerous.... To my wallet.... :)

Really? Compare the cost of a new OV-10G program to... well, *anything* the government is doign these days.

Sadly BlamBlam it would join the ranks of modern government projects. It would be a great asset but I doubt they would c ome off the line with 1972 price tag.

Interestingly the QDR directs the Air Force to work on a COIN aircraft.
 

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yasotay said:
Sadly BlamBlam it would join the ranks of modern government projects. It would be a great asset but I doubt they would c ome off the line with 1972 price tag.

Ah, hell, I don't care what sort of bloat goes on in the OV-10G program, it simply can't compete with TARP and the trillions in new money-pits that have magically appeared in the last year.
 

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Orionblamblam said:
yasotay said:
Sadly BlamBlam it would join the ranks of modern government projects. It would be a great asset but I doubt they would c ome off the line with 1972 price tag.

Ah, hell, I don't care what sort of bloat goes on in the OV-10G program, it simply can't compete with TARP and the trillions in new money-pits that have magically appeared in the last year.

Revisionism won't save you!
 

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Sundog said:
Orionblamblam said:
yasotay said:
Sadly BlamBlam it would join the ranks of modern government projects. It would be a great asset but I doubt they would c ome off the line with 1972 price tag.

Ah, hell, I don't care what sort of bloat goes on in the OV-10G program, it simply can't compete with TARP and the trillions in new money-pits that have magically appeared in the last year.

Revisionism won't save you!

Neither will non sequiturs.
 

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Looks like this is being punted, anyway:

http://defensetech.org/2010/02/02/coin-attack-plane-not-til-next-year/
 

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I just read in Aviation Week that the U.S. Navy has Super Tucano's that are used as FAC-A and CAS to support their SEAL teams? Have you guys heard anything about this?
 

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Sundog said:
I just read in Aviation Week that the U.S. Navy has Super Tucano's that are used as FAC-A and CAS to support their SEAL teams? Have you guys heard anything about this?

Officially at least, there was only one Embraer A-29B Super Tucano leased to the U.S. Navy under the classified “Imminent Fury” program. According to Andreas Parsch, "the Brazilian A-29B designation has been adopted as an official MDS designator". All about this one-of-a-kind Navy bird here:

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2009/03/navy_tucano_031309w/

I wouldn't mind finding a photograph of this rare aircraft, either!
 

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