Yesterday was a very special day for the Bronco Association and fans
of the OV-10. The factory mockup came home to the hangar, at least most
Last April, a group of retired Lockheed employees agreed to help us
with the restoration effort. They have been doing it for years,
including the restoration of a B-36 Peacemaker, they are experts. They
started by taking the horizontal stabilizer and before we knew it, most
of the airplane was at the Lockheed plant here in Fort Worth. A local
reserve Marine Engineering Battalion even lent a hand in moving the
fuselage. Due to security regulations, we haven't been able to bring
you pictures of the work being done. That will change now that the
mockup is back. The fuselage remains at Lockheed for a little while
Don't expect too much when you first see it though. The airplane is
still unassembled and unpainted. However, in the last 10 months, 28
people have put over 2,000 work into the restoration. Little things
like creating new wing tip lights and antenna to bigger things like
fashioning casters to the landing gear so we can move it around, until
we can find actual wheel. We don't want to use the wooden ones it came
with. Major portions of the interior have been completely rehabilitated
and the cockpit is almost restored. Panels have been added and
straightened, a pitot tube has been made where none existed. A mold was
made of the props and new ones fashioned out of fiberglass. Flaps and
trim tabs have been reshaped or recreated entirely. Radio boxes have
been rehabbed. The list really goes on and on. This group of people
have provided an invaluable service to us. Even Richard "Fried" Rice
from Michigan has lent a hand providing documentation for us. The
mockup has some significant differences from the production model.
This has been a huge group effort but it isn't over by a long shot.
The primary reason the mockup is home is the Lockheed workers are
loosing their work space to production of the F-16, F-22 and JSF. They
will keep the fuselage for a little longer, then the work will continue
at the hangar.
Or present goal is to have our little beauty on its feet for Bronco
Fest IV October 10-12, 2003.
Just wanted you to know how things were coming.
Besides a special thanks to the restoration crew, thanks to all of
you who took a leap of faith and donated to the purchase and recovery
fund in '01 to bring it home. A lot of people have helped bring us to
this point. I don't think any of you will be disappointed.