Antonov An-2 "Colt"

In 1946, Oleg Antonov was given the task of creating an all-purpose utility plane to replace the Polikarpov Po-2. His resultant design, which first flew in 1946, the An-2 (nicknamed "Colt" by NATO and "Annushka" by the Soviets) is the largest single-engine biplane in history. Despite its size, it is easy to fly (although a little tail-heavy) with excellent STOL capabilities. It has been employed in a wide variety of roles: passenger carrier, utility transport, crop spraying, fire fighting, medivac, atmospheric sampling, artillery correction, and as a floatplane water-bomber. It can also be fitted with skis for ice landings. In the 1960s, production shifted to WSK-PZL of Poland, who continued to produce the plane into the 1980s. It has also been license-produced in East Germany and China, to a total of some 23,000 planes worldwide. Although it no longer serves in passenger service, it is still widely employed by private concerns throughout the world.

The An-2 has a crew of one or two. It can transport 12 adults and 2 children or 2,733 lbs. of freight. The plane had a historical range of 560 miles. The plane uses 33.6 gallons of aviation fuel per hour at routine usage. A full load of fuel costs $63.40.


Antonov An-2P

Subassemblies: Heavy Fighter-Bomber chassis +4; Medium Fighter-Bomber wings with Biplane option +3; 3 fixed wheels +1.

Powertrain: 746-kW aerial HP gasoline engine with 746-kW prop, 317-gallon standard fuel tank, and 4,000-kWs batteries.

Occ.: 2 CS, 13 PS Body

Cargo: 0 Body


Armor F RL B T U

All: 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3



Body: Autopilot, navigation instruments, medium radio transmitter and receiver, backup driver controls.



Size: 41'x59'x14' Payload: 2.26 tons Lwt.: 6.06 tons

Volume: 640 Maint.: 39 hours Cost: $26,005

HT: 9. HPs: 262 Body, 330 each Wing, 35 each Wheel.

aSpeed: 160 aAccel: 4 aDecel: 20 aMR: 5 aSR: 1

Stall Speed: 54 mph. Take Off Run: 324 yards. Landing Run: 292 yards.

gSpeed: 177 gAccel: 9 gDecel: 10 gMR: 0.5 gSR: 3

Ground Pressure: Very High. 1/8 Off-Road Speed.


Design Notes:

The chassis was a bit too small for the design, but the next size up was far too large. As it was, chassis and wing weigh, cost and HPs were halved to reduce design weight. Design loaded weight was lowered 7% more to the historical; design payload was reduced 540 lbs. to the historical value as well. The design purchases a 315-gallon fuel tank; the historical capacity is shown. The two child passengers are given a single adult passenger station. Historical wing area was 770 sf. Design aSpeed was 168 mph. Historical values for wing area and loaded weight were used for performance calculations. Some sources list an impressive 30 mph stall speed, a take-off run of 170 m, and a landing run of 215 m. These values were fairly incompatible with the design values and calculations (i.e., even using 30 mph as the stall speed, design gAccel and gDecel do not produce these values), so they are not listed.



The An-2F (1964) was an experimental artillery observation version with a dorsal MG position.

The An-2F was a fire-fighting version.

The An-2S was the agricultural crop spraying version.

The An-3 (1972) featured a longer nose and a 701-kW turboprop.

The An-4 (or An-2V) was a floatplane fire-fighting version.

The An-6 (or An-2ZA) was a version built for meteorological research.

Polish-built variants include the An-2 Geofiz (geological survey), An-2M (similar to the An-2V), An-2P (passenger plane with better soundproofing), An-2PK (five-seat executive transport), An-2PR (television relay), An-2R (an improved agricultural version with hermetically sealed cabin), An-2S (ambulance version), An-2T (basic GP model), An-2TD (paratrooper version), and the An-2TP (a passenger/freight version of the -TD).


From the Aerodrome for GURPS

2008 by Jim Antonicic