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Grumman
OV-1 Mohawk

The Grumman OV-1 Mohawk is an armed military observation and attack aircraft that was designed for battlefield surveillance and light strike capabilities. It has a twin turboprop configuration, and carries two crew members in side-by-side seating. The Mohawk was intended to operate from short, unimproved runways in support of United States Army maneuver forces.

Grumman: OV-1 Mohawk

Role light attack and observation aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Grumman
First flight 14 April 1959
Introduction October 1959
Retired September 1996 (USA), 2015 (Argentina)
Primary users United States Army
Argentine Army Aviation
Produced 1959–1970
Number built 380

Grumman

Grumman
OV-1 Mohawk

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Grumman
OV-1 Mohawk

The Grumman OV-1 Mohawk is an armed military observation and attack aircraft that was designed for battlefield surveillance and light strike capabilities. It has a twin turboprop configuration, and carries two crew members in side-by-side seating. The Mohawk was intended to operate from short, unimproved runways in support of United States Army maneuver forces.
The Mohawk began as a joint Army-Marine program through the then-Navy Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer), for an observation/attack plane that would outperform the Cessna L-19 Bird Dog. In June 1956, the Army issued Type Specification TS145, which called for the development and procurement of a two-seat, twin turboprop aircraft designed to operate from small, unimproved fields under all weather conditions. It would be faster, with greater firepower, and heavier armour than the Bird Dog, which had proved vulnerable during the Korean War

Design

The Mohawk’s mission would include observation, artillery spotting, air control, emergency resupply, naval target spotting, liaison, and radiological monitoring. The Navy specified that the aircraft must be capable of operating from small “jeep” escort class carriers (CVEs). The DoD selected Grumman Aircraft Corporation’s G-134 design as the winner of the competition in 1957. Marine requirements contributed an unusual feature to the design. As originally proposed, the OF-1 could be fitted with water skis that would allow the aircraft to land at sea and taxi to island beaches at 20 knots. Since the Marines were authorized to operate fixed-wing aircraft in the close air support (CAS) role, the mockup also featured underwing pylons for rockets, bombs, and other stores.

The Air Force did not like the armament capability of the Mohawk and tried to get it removed. The Marines did not want the sophisticated sensors the Army wanted, so when their Navy sponsors opted to buy a fleet oil tanker, they dropped from the program. 

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Grumman OV-1 Mohawk (1959

The U.S. Army flew the OV-1 operationally in the Vietnam War, with sixty-five lost to accidents, ground fire, and one shot down by a North Vietnamese fighter.

In early 1968, while flying an OV-1 over South Vietnam, U.S. Army Captain Ken Lee shot down a MiG-17 “Fresco” fighter jet with his XM14 .50 in. (12.7 mm) caliber gun pods as well as two M159 unguided rocket pods, becoming the only Army Aviator to ever down a MiG. Due to the Key West Agreement, the Army tried to keep the shootdown a secret for fear that it would allow the USAF to transfer Mohawks to its inventory. Lee’s kill was finally formally recognized by the Army in 2007.

Specifications

Crew: 2

Length: 41 ft 0 in (12.50 m)

Wingspan: 48 ft 0 in (14.63 m)

Height: 12 ft 8 in (3.86 m)

Empty weight: 12,054 lb (5,468 kg)

Gross weight: 15,544 lb (7,051 kg) (Normal take-off weight.

Max takeoff weight: 18,109 lb (8,214 kg) (SLAR mission)
Powerplant: 2 × Lycoming T53-L-701 turboprops, 1,400 shp 

Maximum speed: 305 mph (491 km/h, 265 kn) (IR mission)

Cruise speed: 207 mph (333 km/h, 180 kn) (econ. cruise)

Stall speed: 84 mph (135 km/h, 73 kn)

Never exceed speed: 450 mph (720 km/h, 390 kn)
Rate of climb: 3,466 ft/min (17.61 m/s) (SLAR mission)

Take-off to 50 ft (15 m): 1,175 ft (358 m)

Landing run from 50 ft (15 m): 1,060 ft (320 m)

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Seven U.S. Navy squadrons flew the F11F-1: VF-21 and VF-33 in the Atlantic Fleet and VA-156 (redesignated VF-111 in January 1959), VF-24 (redesignated VF-211 in March 1959), VF-51, VF-121, and VF-191 in the Pacific Fleet.

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