AN-2 /
Мuch having a special purpose airplane. Year of the first flight - 1947.

Многоцелевой самолет Ан-2

AN-2 multipurpose biplane is a forefather of the airplanes of ANTONOV family

 

The AN-2 multipurpose biplane is the world record-holder on duration of serial production. 17.000 units of the AN-2 and its modifications were produced in three countries – USSR, Poland and China.

Use of the simple and reliable construction with powerful mechanization which includes automatic leading-edge slats and flaperons, provides aircraft stability on big angles of attack and full impossibility to bring to stalling with extended flaps. Even with abandoned control the aircraft recovered from the spiral to the horizontal flight regime.

On August 31, 1947 the AN-2 first took-off from Yeltsovka airdrome, Novosibirsk.

Operation of the AN-2 started rapidly, in several spheres of national economy of the USSR at that. The most mass use the aircraft initially called CX-1found performing aviation chemical works in agriculture and forestry. They included extranutrition by applying mineral fertilizers, struggle with plant pests by dispersion and spraying of pesticides, service of livestock sector by sowing forage herbs, extranutrition of pastures, extermination of carnivorous animals. The AN-2 used for sowing crops, defoliation cotton and to dessication of sun-flowers and paddy.

Many machines of the zero and first series were passed to the Ministry of geology for servicing expeditions performed geological and prospecting works.

Range of use of the AN-2 widened every year. In Nenets national district when helping hunters it explored areas of animal and birds habitation. The AN-2 performed aerial photography to define speeds and directions of rivers flow; transported people, animals, mail, different cargoes; did aviation monitoring including flying around gas and oil pipelines, electricity networks as well as participated in liquidation of anthropogenic catastrophes.  The AN-2-s were used very intensively when building of Baikal-Amur trunk road.

Antonov biplane made a major contribution into maintenance of health of people. The AN-2-s transported sick men, delivered doctors and medicines, struggled with carriers of infectious diseases. In 1971 inUkraine only those machines performed 8993 sanitary flights, transported more than 860 seriously ill men. But what cannot be ignored is the role of “Annushka” (the AN-2) in development of aviation kinds of sports and pilots training. The AN-2-s were used for training flight crews and dropping of the parachutists and for towage of the gliders – up to 5 units simultaneously! Many record flights of the Soviet glider pilots were established with the help of the AN-2. Hundreds of thousand of sportsmen and future pilots made their first jumps from that machine namely.

When he was asked “Why had the AN-2 got such a wide use?” O.K.Antonov answered: “I think it is due to its flight parameters first of all: short take-off and landing distances, simplicity of piloting and operation. This machine is undemanding to the airfields”.

Due to its outstanding parameters the aircraft was used in more than 40 spheres and had many modifications. The most known of them were:

-   AN-2T    – transport aircraft (1.5 t of cargo)

-   AN-2TПtransport-passenger (10 folded seats)

-   AN-2ТД transport-landing

-   AN-2П   passenger (10 soft seats)

-   AN-2СХ agricultural (tank on 1.400 l)

-   AN-2М  agricultural with increased volume (tank on 2.000 l)

-   AN-23А(AN-6) sounder of atmosphere and the high-altitude one (AN-2V)

-   AN-2Ф   night reconnaissance and (AN-2HAKB) – fire spotter aircraft

-   AN-2С   sanitary (to 6 stretchers)

-   AN-2В(AN-4) – hydroplane with float-type landing gear

     -    AN-2      with ski landing gear

     -    AN-2Л  – for forest protection

     -    AN-2      with aviation firefighting sprayer

     -   AN-2ЛПforest fire aircraft (on a basis of AN-2B with filling the floats with water)

 The AN-2 is still recognized as an outstanding in its class machine and has many sincere admirers on all continents. It is used as sports, transports, passenger one and is even in the Air Forces of many countries. On the information on 2007 more than 4.000 the AN-2-s are successfully operated. Many of them fly for 40 years and more and have perfect flying form.