Antonov an-2 Biplane History
The Antonov an-2 Russian (Soviet) biplane was introduced in 1947 as a massive slow-flying agricultural and utility single engine biplane aircraft, by 2002 when production of the Antonov an-2 biplane finally ended in excess of 18,000 Antonov an-2 aircraft had been produced. Originally designed for the Soviet Ministry of Forestry, the Antonov an-2 biplane featured a totally enclosed cockpit and all metal construction with the capacity to carry up to 12 passengers and can take off in as little as 170m and land in 215m. Notably the Antonov an-2 aircraft features a pneumatic system which operates the aircraft's braking system and also facilitates quick tyre inflation at any location. A fuel pump is also built into the Antonov an-2 fuselage so the aircraft can be re-fuelled from fuel drums without any additional external equipment requirement.
Antonov an-2 Biplane Crash Survivability
Should the Antonov an-2 suffer a failure in it's 1,000 hp supercharged 9-cylinder Shvetsov ASh-62 radial engine, the pilot is advised in the aircraft's handbook to fully pull back the stick, the Antonov an-2 will then literally fall out of the sky vertically at a speed of approximately 30mph, the airframe has been designed to absorb this impact sufficiently to enable reasonable chance of survival for both crew and passengers.
Antonov an-2 in Military Use
The rugged design and excellent STOL (short take off and landing) capability of the Antonov an-2 biplane led to the Soviet armed forces acquiring a significant number of Antonov an-2 biplanes primarily for dropping small numbers of parachutists, during the cold war NATO forces allocated the aircraft the code name "Colt".
Antonov an-2 Losses
Due to the large number of Antonov an-2 aircraft that have been produced and the numerous decades of service there have been hundreds of crashes but fatalities average out at less than one person per Antonov an-2 aircraft totally lost, many of the deaths have been a result of the location where the Antonov an-2 came down, i.e. over water, rather than impact damage.
Antonov An-2 Biplane Specifications:
Crew: Pilot only, or pilot and co-pilot
Capacity: 12 passengers
Length: 12.4 m (40 ft 8 in)
Wingspan: 18.2 m (59 ft 8 in) Height: 4.1 m (13 ft)
Maximum weight weight: 5,500 kg (12,000 lb)
Maximum load: 2,140 kg
Engine: Single 1,000 hp (750 kW) Shvetsov ASh-62R 9-cylinder supercharged radial engine
Maximum speed: 258 km/h
Cruise speed: 190 km/h (100 knots, 120 mph)
Stall speed: ~50 km/h (26 knots, 30 mph)
Range: 845 km (456 nm, 525 mi)
Service ceiling: 4,500 m (14,750 ft).