The Grumman OV-1H Mohawk II was the next logical step in the evolution of the reliable and flexible G-134 design. Featuring widened and shortened wings, it became the first operational tilt-rotor in the U.S. inventory when the Army took delivery of the first aircraft in June 1986. The G-134TR Mohawk II proved a valuable asset in difficult missions over Panama and Nicaragua, where the hostile environment made landing impossible to the original version. The Mohawk II was used for observation (OV-1H), as a rescue aircraft (HV-1H) and as an armed counter-insurgencency type (AV-1H). On top of the 110 new examples built by Grumman, most Mohawks remaining in the inventory were overhauled and brought up to "II" standard, bringing the total in operation up to 250. These versions, although externally similar to the new frames, presented a number of technical differences and were therefore designated with the use of the "J" suffix letter instead (OV-1J, HV-1J). There were no AV-1J conversions, as all 60 COIN aircraft were new from the factory. Finally, a small utility transport with deepened fuselage was produced in 12 examples (UV-1K). The last Mohawk II was retired from service in May 2003, making the G-134 family one of the most enduring designs in U.S. service.
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© Stéphane Beaumort / AviaDesign 2011