Archive digitization



Aviation and Diplomacy

Frank Piasecki

NATO 1949-2009 Projekt ekspozycji w Muzeum Lotnictwa Polskiego w Krakowie



Polish Aviation Museum

31-864 Kraków,
al. Jana Pawła II 39
phone: (12) 640 99 60,
(12) 642 40 70
e-mail: info@muzeumlotnictwa.pl

a cultural institution of the Malopolska Region

Małopolska – Kraków Region


Patronage

Kraków Airport







Aeroplane: WSK An-2TD (NATO: Colt)

WSK An-2TD (NATO: Colt)
USSR / Poland
troop transport



  • Technical data


Span 18.18 m (59 ft 7 in)
Length 12.4 m (40 ft 8 in)
Take-off weight 5500 kg (12,125 lb)
Maximum speed 230 km/h (135 kt, 155 mph)
Ceiling 4160 m (14,400 ft)
Range 1390 km (746 mi)
Armament
Powerplant :
9-cylinder, radial ASh-62IR, 1000 HP (736 kW)

 

Destroyed by Communist reforms and the Second World War, agriculture in the Soviet Union demanded a radical rebuild and an increase in efficiency. To increase the production in agriculture, vast areas of land needed to be cultivated. Aviation in agriculture was to fertilise the soil, sow and fight pests. The main drawback was the lack of an appropriate aeroplane.
Aimed at this, the Soviet Union Council of Ministers called into being a new Experimental and Construction Bureau 153 (the OKB 153) in May 1946. This was associated with the aviation works in Novosibirsk. The young but experienced Oleg K. Antonov was nominated as chief of the OKB 153.Before the outbreak of war Antonov had worked in designing gliders and then in 1943-45 he worked with Yakolev, designing a single engine, multipurpose biplane. Being the head of the construction bureau, Yakolev also held the post of deputy minister of the aviation industry.
With the knowledge of the Antonov, Yakolev was a great influence on the establishment of the new team and its work.
The design of the new aircraft, the Sch-1, ran in fast pace. It adopted the construction of a single engine, strutted biplane with classic undercarriage. An all-metal, semi stressed fuselage concealed a vast cargo bay. A radial engine was placed in the nose. The wings, made out of a metal frame, were fabric covered.
The Sch-1 prototype was powered with the ASh-21 engine with 760hp take off power. However, Antonov aimed at mounting the ASh-62IR, which had almost 1000hp. By the end of August 1947, the Sch-1 flew for the first time. The tests with both powerplants lasted until July 1948. The aeroplane appeared to be a successful design and was introduced into mass production with the ASh-62IR engine, designated as the An-2. Very soon it proved that it could also be used as a transport and passenger aeroplane.
In 1952 Antonov and his team were awarded with Stalin's Prize for this aircraft.
The biplane configuration allowed the plane a low take off and landing speed, which meant it could operate from small and unprepared airfields.
Due to its STOL characteristics and big payload, it also sparked interest with the air force.
Mass production of the An-2 started at the aviation works in Kiev. It was built for two basic purposes: agriculture and airborne transport. Other variants appeared in time and some reached production, others not passing the prototype stage. In total, 3167 aircraft were built in Kiev by 1962. The start of mass production became a source of new experiences, resulting in many modifications.
At the beginning of the 1960's, a modernised An-2M, featuring a new shape of a vertical rudder, appeared. The fuselage was covered with metal sheeting, joined with press welding. The cockpit was for one pilot. The new version first flew in May 1964. In August of the same year the aeroplane came into mass production in the Dolgoprudnyi Works. 200 An-2M's were built by 1965, mostly for export.
In the mid Fifties, the An-2 licence was handed over to the People's Republic of China, where circa 1000 aircraft were built.
In 1958 Poland became the next licence holder for the An-2 and the ASz-62IR engine. Preparation for production started in 1959 at the WSK Mielec. By the end of October 1960, the flight of the first "Polish" An-2, still built of Soviet parts, took place.
After 1961 the aircraft was built entirely in Poland. The aeroplane was produced in the following versions (mentioned in sequence of flights):
for transport An-2T, agriculture An-2R, floatplane An-2M (W), transport-passenger An-2TP, passenger An-2P, executive An-2P Lux and the An-2PD5.
In 1960 - 1991 over 12000 An-2 aircraft were produced, including 10600 examples for the Soviet Union. The An-2 was also exported to 19 countries in a quantity of 800 examples.
460 An-2's were bought for the Polish Air Force and for civil aviation.
In 1951 the Polish Air Force brought the first An-2 in the Soviet Union. By 1956, 17 aircraft were delivered. The one and only "civilian" An-2 was in service with LOT Polish Airlines in 1955. In 1956 A-n2's were introduced into aeroclubs. They still fly today in civil and military aviation.
The An-2 aeroplane took part in several military conflicts as transport planes and also bombers (in Vietnam and Yugoslavia).

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Dofinansowano ze środków Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego
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