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Jeff, I'm loving the OV-10 series. What's the history of those airframes? That last photo, in particular: everything except the trailing-link nose gear looks brand new: perfect paint and plexi, smooth skins, etc. The nose gear, OTOH, looks like it's survived some really harsh runway environments.
Here you go Zim - from a fellow AzAP shooter.
"The three bladed Bronco (OV-10A BuNo 155428) most likely flew with VMO-2 out of Camp Pendleton most of its career. Likely that it served in Vietnam out of Marble Mountain near Da Nang. Once retired in the early nineties it was tucked away at AMARC/MASDC for a while before being pulled out and handed over to the California Department of Forestry (CDF) now Calfire.
The four-bladed Bronco (BuNo 155502) (Calfire 505) was built as an OV-10A as they all were (US Marines and Air Force) with the three bladed props. Early on it was with VMO-8 (USMC reserve squadron) which started out a Selfridge AFB in MI and later moved to Los Alamitos CA. At some point around 1980 a batch of about 18 were converted to OV-10D configuration with uprated engines, wider chord but still three-bladed props, and an extended nose that had a FLIR (forward looking infra-red) unit much like a Cobra or Apache. This was for detecting and marking targets with a laser. The system was referred to as NOGS (night observation gunship system). Originally the system was supposed to include a turret under the belly housing a 20mm gatling gun. Two prototypes and one actual D model had the turret but it was never funded. The prototypes were tested in Vietnam.
There was another batch of conversions later that upgraded the D models further and also brought a bunch of A models up to the same standard. 155502 might have been in the second batch. 155502 may have flown with VMO-4 or VMO-1 in its later years. Maybe VMO-4 (Atlanta, GA). Possibly both. After retirement it was pulled from storage and modified for the DOS for spraying Cocaine crops in Colombia. Marsh Aviation (Mesa, AZ) further upgraded it with the four bladed props and some other significant upgrades. After that it went to Calfire who removed the long nose and basically rebuilt it with new avionics, no ejections seats, weapons systems, etc. That aircraft is unique in that it has the large engines of a D and the four-bladed props from the Marsh conversion but has the short original nose of an A. Basically it's a hot rod".