The Antonov An-2 ‘Colt’ is one of the most well-known airplanes of the former U.S.S.R., which was designed on the order of the Soviet Ministry of Forestry. The design belongs to Oleg K. Antonov and was built in response to the needs for a medium-sized, multi-mission, general aviation plane, which would be economical to use, similar to a light airplane.
The AN-2 was first used for agricultural applications (crop dusting) while other missions included aerial firefighting.
The maiden flight of the prototype, known as SKH-1, took place on 31st August 1947, with a 730 HP ASH-21 engine, which for the production line was replaced with the 967 HP ASH-621.
Many variations were built to cover other particular needs. These included:
- The AN-2ZA which was adapted for atmospheric studies and was equipped with an ASH-621R/TK turboprop engine
- The AN-2V (Vodyanoi) which was used as a seaplane was equipped with twin floats
- The AN-2 NRK (Nochnoi Razvedchik Korrectiro vshchik) which was used as a night reconnaissance plane.
From 1957, Russia gave permissions to build the AN-2 to other countries as well, mainly Poland (PZL-MIELEK company) and China (FONG CHOU factory).
Aeroflot started using the An-2 for passenger and cargo flights on 1965 while the Armed Forces and flying clubs were using it to drop parachuters.
AN-2 was exported to more than 52 countries worldwide and its production line spanned 30 years. As a result, there is an abundance of spare parts and engines. It is estimated that U.S.S.R has built 5000 airplanes, China has built around 3000, while Poland, whose production line ended in 1977 built 6000 AN-2 airplanes.
Our plane, the AN-2 TP, was built in Poland on 11th October 1977 with a serial number “1G-177-37”. It was used by the Kronso airplane factory to carry passengers.
Athenian Aviators Collection acquired the plane on 17th November 2000 and on 19th January 2001 it was transferred from Ellinikon airport to Dekeleia AFB, retaining its Polish registration number “SP-MXK”.