It seems unbelievable that having worked in the sky for almost 70 years, the AN-2 is not in a hurry to become a museum exhibit. But he made his first flight in the distant 1947.
Already at that time, next to the first jet planes, he looked archaic, but its creator, Oleg Antonov, endowed him with a unique ability to take off and land where other of his brethren helplessly “wings”. Pilots who linked their lives with the AN-2, joke that he can, if necessary, fly backwards.
Initially, the AN-2 was intended for the protection of forests, agricultural work and passenger transportation. Single-engine biplane is able to take on board up to 12 passengers and a little over a ton of cargo. The aerodrome can be any smooth ground platform. The Soviet aviation industry produced more than 19 thousand AN-2. Before 1991, it was produced by Poland, and in China the plane continues to be manufactured to this day.
Bernie Leighton, a famous writer who writes about aviation, after flying to AN-2 in Belarus, rightly remarked: “If you need to transport 10 soldiers or goats from any part of the earth, then either AN-2 or a helicopter is suitable for this.”
Indeed, the plane has minimal comfort. This is in the full sense of the word, a heavenly workhorse. The “biplane” scheme creates a large lifting force for it during the short run. The AN-2 is perfectly controlled even at a speed of 40 km / h. For comparison, the famous Cessna begins to fall down at 80 km / h.
The secret of this incredible vitality in the special design of the wings and flaps, with which you can adjust the lift and reduce the speed of the flight. Even if the engine suddenly stops, the pilot’s main problem will be finding a suitable landing site.