Warbirds News is pleased to announce the completion of Bronco Demo Team’s latest North American OV-10B Bronco restoration. Known by its West German Luftwaffe serial, 99+18, the Bronco flew for the first time in more than twenty years in May, 2012, but sadly this was shortly followed by the loss of Bronco 99+32, and serious injuries to her pilot Tony De Bruyn that July. Thankfully Tony made a full recovery and he recently flew Bronco 99+18 on her first photo-sortie following a complete and accurate repaint in her original Luftwaffe markings. We bring you some of the gorgeous photographs from that flight here; all courtesy of the Bronco Demo Team.
North American Aviation produced the OV-10B variant exclusively for the West German Luftwaffe, delivering 18 of them during the early 1970s. The Luftwaffe used them solely in the target tug role, so consequently they had none of the armament sponsons nor weaponry of the other military versions. The German Broncos also had a plexiglas dome in place of the rear cargo doors to allow the target winch operator, sitting in his rearwards facing seat, a clear view for the task at hand. The Luftwaffe retired their Bronco fleet in 1990, replacing them with the Pilatus PC-9. A number of the surviving airframes made it into museums. 99+18 ended up on static display at the Manfred Pflumm International Aviation Museum in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany from 1991 until her acquisition and restoration by the Bronco Demo Team. Warbirds News has been following the restoration for some time, and made a couple of brief reports over the last few months (HERE and HERE). It is terrific to see this beautiful aeroplane retake her place in the sky, albeit now as a fully-fledged display aircraft. She will be making visits to various air shows around Europe this summer. Tony De Bruyn and his group at Bronco Demo Team have much to be proud of.
The Bronco Demo Team’s mission is to preserve and perpetuate the history of the OV-10 Bronco and the people who designed, built, flew and maintained this unique machine. They also has another Bronco currently under restoration, the ex-Luftwaffe OV-10B 99+26, so hopefully the pair of them will soon be performing demos across Europe, and perhaps even the USA.
Check the team’s website for more information www.broncodemoteam.com
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