With the rise in civilian-military partnerships over the past few decades, with civilian contractors taking on many non-combatant roles more traditionally handled by military assets, it has been interesting to see the number of companies springing up to fulfill specific tasks, such as adversary training and the like. These civilian companies, requiring sophisticated machinery with well-proven capabilities to accomplish their missions, have naturally turned to the surplus military market to supply their needs. This has breathed new life into long-retired aircraft types which might otherwise be consigned to museums and boneyards, or simply turned into ‘pots and pans’.
While the aim for these civilian-military collaborations is to train the modern warfighter for present-day conflict scenarios, it has had the unintended benefit, for those of us with a passion for vintage military aviation, of seeing some of our favorite aircraft in skies once more. We have seen types such as the Hawker Hunter, Dassault Mirage, Douglas A-4 Skyhawk and even legacy McDonnell-Douglas F-18 Hornets, refurbished for flight in significant numbers. Now we can add the North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco to this list.