As devoted fans of the OV-10 Bronco and its countless contributions to America’s military, we wanted to honor one of the visionaries who made it all happen; KP Rice. KP Rice passed away on December 26th, but not before leaving a huge mark on the aviation world.
A decorated Colonel in the United States Military, KP retired to develop an aircraft that was badly needed to fill the gap between helicopters and jets during the Vietnam war. The North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco was born. A twin-turboprop light attack and observation aircraft was developed in the 1960s by KP as a special aircraft for counterinsurgency (COIN) combat, and one of its primary missions was as a forward air control (FAC) aircraft.
To say the OV-10 Bronco was a success would be an understatement. The legendary aircraft was a force that saved countless lives in Vietnam, helped crush drug cartels in South America, and decades after first taking flight was used to hunt down ISIS targets in the Middle East.
In terms of its design, 50 years later there is still nothing like it in the world today. It looks different. It flies differently. And it’s one of the most cost-effective military aircraft the US has ever had in its arsenal. KP Rice didn’t just help create an aircraft, he created a whole new way of tackling the challenge of counterinsurgency combat.
The unparalleled views from the cockpit, compact design, and flexibility to operate just about anywhere are three of our favorite design features of the OV-10. But we’d like to hear from you too. What is your favorite design feature of the OV-10?