This U.S. Twin Engine Attack Plane Ate Tanks for Lunch, Now It's For Sale to Civies

OV-10 Bronco 9 photos
Photo: OV-10 Squadron
OV-10 Bronco Holy TerrorOV-10 Bronco Holy TerrorOV-10 Bronco Holy TerrorOV-10 Bronco Holy TerrorOV-10 Bronco Holy TerrorOV-10 Bronco Holy TerrorOV-10 Bronco Holy TerrorOV-10 Bronco Holy Terror
A standard North American-Rockwell OV-10 Bronco is not the kind of airplane that civilians would enjoy flying. Sure, its Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) capability meant you could take off from the street your house stands on. But a spartan interior built to fit people wearing full flight suits and helmets make a Cessna Caravan a better option.
That won't stop one private seller from offering one for a price that's actually a bargain compared to a new Caravan (Cessna, not Dodge). The OV-10 Squadron of Newport Beach, California, is the proud seller of this 1968 Bronco (NA-Rockwell, not Ford, why must vehicle makers keep using the same names, isn't it annoying?) If you want to call it something else, a good choice would be its nickname, "Holy Terror."

Holy Terror left the North American-Rockwell factory floor in Southern California on January 14th, 1968. It was then accepted into service with the U.S. Navy at NAS later that month, only to be transferred to VMO-6 at MCAS Futenma in Okinawa, Japan. By 2008, the plane had found its way to the National Vietnam War Museum east of Mineral Wells, Texas.

Before this, Holy Terror was upgraded to the new OV-10D+ standard sometime in 1991. One of the plane's pilots, Howard "Hotch" Hotchkiss, was shot in the leg while in combat yet managed to bring the plane safely back to base. An act that earned him a Purple Heart.

After OV-10 Squadron got a hold of Holy Terror and officially christened its nickname, the team started a grueling restoration process that makes the average classic car restomod look easy and even simple. A complete disassembly, repainting, twin-engine rebuilds, and a full navigation and avionics upgrade to ensure it passed newly stringent FAA regulations.

OV\-10 Bronco Holy Terror
Photo: OV-10 Squadron
Powering all OV-10D+ models were twin Garrett T76-G-420/421 turboprop engines jetting 1,040 shaft horsepower (780 kW) each. They're both paired with upgraded Hamilton Standard propellers with quad blades as opposed to three.

With all the labor involved, all the money spent, and all the thousands of hours of time invested, it's safe to call Holy Terror a legitimate restomod with wings. Moving to the interior, back in the late 60s, cockpits in military aircraft took hundreds of hours of training and further hundreds in the field to become completely familiar with.

In this example, whose restoration was completed back in 2021, both the pilot and navigator cockpits have had vast swaths of dials and switches with a series of LCD multitouch displays, with only a small array of vital function dials sitting to the right of the main navigation screen in front of the pilot.

It can't go without saying that the majority of the labor involved in project Holy Terror was done by U.S. Military veterans with backgrounds in aeronautical engineering, with a little help from a few very dedicated local history buffs, of course. The end result is a breathtakingly striking and capable airframe just as ready to fly as it was in the late 60s. As it happens, the Bronco is one of only a handful of light attack airframes certified for acrobatic maneuvers.

OV\-10 Bronco Holy Terror
Photo: OV-10 Squadron
Just in case a foreign military is interested in this airplane, OV-10 Squadron is happy to boast the assortment of ordinance this Bronco is still capable of carrying. These include quad 7.62x51mm M60 machine guns, seven or 19-tube launching pods for 2.75-inch unguided rockets, or two to four-tube launchers for 5-inch unguided rockets.

Not to mention hardpoints for twin 250-pound bombs or one 500-pound bomb. Oh, and just in case you get flanked by a MiG-21, wing pylons are capable of accepting modern variants of the Aim-9 Sidewinder air to air heat-seeking missiles.

The price of it all? Well, minus all the fuel and ordinance, this plane is yours for the taking for whoever forks out $1,875,000 first, or about $625,000 more than a fully loaded Cessna Caravan. Not a bad deal if you're an eccentric millionaire aviator.
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