"I am writing regarding the P-51A... (Serial #). She was sitting on jacks at Cal Aero Tech when I attended A/C maintenance training there in June of 1951. I often felt sadness for that aircraft, as I was sure it was destined for the bone yard. You cannot imagine the thrill it gave me to run across your museum and see her so beautiful and know she was safe. It made me misty-eyed. I honor you for maintaining a beautiful legacy."

James H., Clarkson, WA
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In 1957, the U.S. Army identified a requirement for a light but rugged front-line observation aircraft that could operate from rough airstrips and had short take-off and landing (STOL) capability. Grumman's proposal was accepted, and development of the YAO-1A began.

The aircraft's first flight was 14 April 1959. It was a mid-wing monoplane powered by two turboprop engines, with a tail featuring three vertical stabilizers. The pilot and observer sat in a side-by-side cockpit with bulged side windows, providing excellent downward visibility.

Three production versions were ordered: the AO-1A, exclusively for day-time and night-time reconnaissance; the AO-1 B, with a Sideways Looking Radar (SLAR) pod slung under the right side of the fuselage; and the AO-1 C, designed for infra-red reconnaissance. These designations were later changed to OV-1A, OV-1B and OV-1C, respectively. An OV-1 0 version was developed later, which combined the capabilities of the OV-1 Band OV-1 C.

More than 375 OV-1s were built over a period of almost 10 years. They were used extensively in the Vietnam War. The aircraft was not designed to carry armament, but many were modified in the field to carry rockets, mortars, rotating-barrel machine guns and small missiles, in addition to iron bombs.

Planes of Fame Air Museum's OV-1A was donated in 2006, and was flown to Chino in 2007.


SPECIFICATIONS


Status: Flyable Length: 41 ft. 0 in.
Manufacturer: Grumman Height: 12 ft. 8 in.
Year: 1959 Maximum Speed: 305 mph
Model: OV-1A Mohawk Cruise Speed: 207 mph
Serial Number: 59-2604 Power Plant: 2-1,400hp Lycoming T53-L-701 turboprops
Crew: 2 Range: 944 miles
Max T/O Weight: 18,109 lb. Service Ceiling: 25,000 ft.
Span: 48 ft. 0 in. Armament: none


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