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Antonov An-2 (Colt)

Single-Engine Biplane Utility Aircraft

Antonov An-2 (Colt)

Single-Engine Biplane Utility Aircraft


The Antonov An-2 Colt biplane was developed to replace the Polikarpov Po-2 in the utility and agricultural roles.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Soviet Union
YEAR: 1947
STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Antonov - Soviet Union / WSK PZL-Mielec - Poland / Shijiazhuang - China
OPERATORS: Afghanistan; Albania; Angola; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Bulgaria; Cambodia; China; Croatia; Cuba; Czechoslovakia; East Germany; Egypt; Estonia; Georgia; Germany; Hungary; Iraq; Kyrgyzstan; Laos; Latvia; Lithuania; Macedonia; Mali; Moldova; Mongolia; Nicaragua; North Yemen; North Korea; North Vietnam; Poland; South Korea; Romania; Russia; Serbia; Somalia; Soviet Union; Sudan; Syria; Tajikistan; Tanzania; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; Uzbekistan; Vietnam; Yemen; Yugoslavia

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Antonov An-2 (Colt) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 40.68 feet (12.4 meters)
WIDTH: 59.71 feet (18.2 meters)
HEIGHT: 13.45 feet (4.1 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 7,275 pounds (3,300 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 12,125 pounds (5,500 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Shvetsov ASh-62IR 9-cylinder supercharged radial piston engine developing 1,000 horsepower.
SPEED (MAX): 160 miles-per-hour (258 kilometers-per-hour; 139 knots)
RANGE: 525 miles (845 kilometers; 456 nautical miles)
CEILING: 14,764 feet (4,500 meters; 2.80 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 700 feet-per-minute (213 meters-per-minute)

Typically none. Some may be fitted with defensive machine guns. Crews may carry individual weapons while other An-2s modified for dropping bombs as needed.
Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

Series Model Variants
• SKh-1 - Initial Series Designation
• An-2F - Experimental Artillery Observation Platform; revised empennage with twin vertical fins; dorsal machine gun.
• An-2L - Fire-Fighter Variant
• An-2LV - Fire-Fighter Variant
• An-2M - Agricultural Variant
• An-2P (modifizirovannij) - Passenger Transport
• An-2P (passazhirskij) - Fire-Fighter Variant
• An-2S - Air Ambulance Variant
• An-2V (An-4) - Floatplane Variant
• An-2VA - Fire-Fighter Variant
• An-2ZA - Atmospheric Research Platform
• An-2E - Ekranoplan Conversion Model
• An-3 - Sub-Variant of the An-2; fitted with turboprop; revised throughout.
• An-6 "Meteo" - High-Altitude Weather Research Platform; based on the An-2 production model.
• An-2 Geofiz (An-2Geo) - Polish Geophysical Variant.
• An-2D5 - Polish VIP Transport; seating for 5.
• An-2D6 - Polish VIP Transport; seating for 6.
• An-2T - Polish An-2 Production Model (initial version).
• An-2M (An-2W) - Polish An-2V floatplane.
• An-2P - Polish passenger transport; seating for 12 passengers.
• An-2P Photo - Polish Photo Reconnaissance Platform.
• An-2PK - Polish VIP Transport; seating for 5; cold weather modifications.
• An-2PF - Polish Photo Reconnaissance Platform.
• An-2PR (An-2PRTV) - Polish Television Relay Variant.
• An-2R - Polish Agricultural Variant
• An-2S - Polish Air Ambulance; seating for 6 passengers.
• An-2TD - Polish Paratrooper Variant; seating for 12 passengers.
• An-2TP - Polish Passenger / Cargo Transport; based on the An-2TD.
• An-2TPS - Polish Air Ambulance based on the An-2TP.
• An-2TVS-2MS - Metal-based construction; debuting in 2011; 25 examples completed.
• An-2TVS-2DTS - All-composite reworking of the An-2TVS-2MS variant; debuted at MAKS 2017.
• An-3M - Polish Prototype; turboprop powered; fitted with TWD-20 engine.
• Lala-1 - Polish Experimental Variant; fitted with turbofan in empennage.
• Y-5 - Chinese designation of An-2 production model.
• Y-5A - Chinese designation of large-scale production An-2 for passenger duty.
• Y-5B - Chinese Designation for improved An-2; new powerplant; revised avionics suite.
• Y-5C - Floatplane Amphibious Variant; based on the Y-5A production model.
• Y-5D - Bomber Crew Trainer Variant


Detailing the development and operational history of the Antonov An-2 (Colt) Single-Engine Biplane Utility Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 1/22/2019. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
The Antonov An-2 is a multi-role light utility biplane initially produced under the Soviet flag. Despite its 1940's pedigree, the system has continued service and operations throughout the world and production itself has totaled over 18,000 examples as of this writing. The An-2 goes under the NATO codename of "Colt" and is designated in US DoD nomenclature as the "Type 22". The Soviet Union/Russia, Poland and China have all lent a hand in production of local base and specialized variants. Operators are numerous and range from those with military service to those with civilian-minded needs.

Antonov An-2 Walk-Around

Externally, the An-2 shares many similarities with other light aircraft of this class. The engine - powering a four-bladed propeller - is held in the extreme forward of the fuselage to which the cockpit is situated directly aft. The cockpit is heavily glazed and observation port windows can be seen along the fuselage sides. The wing arrangement on this aircraft is of a sesquiplane (uneven span) biplane assembly with the top wing noticeably wider than the lower element. Each wing is connected via a single large vertical strut making up a single wing bay and each wing system showcases dihedral (upward angle). The fuselage tapers slightly into the empennage to which is affixed a single large, smooth-edge vertical tail fin and its applicable stabilizers mounted to either tail fin side. Like other aircraft of this classification, the An-2 sports a pair of fixed landing gear legs complimented by a smaller tail wheel. The main landing gear legs feature wheel bogies decidedly angled inwards with each leg braced at two points along the underside of the fuselage. Power is supplied from a single Shvetsov ASh-62IR 9-cylinder, supercharged radial piston engine of 1,000 horsepower. Maximum speed is a reported 160 miles per hour with a listed range of 525 miles and a service ceiling equal to 14,750 feet.

Accommodations are generally made for a crew of one pilot but an observer/co-pilot is preferred. Cabin seating can hold an additional 12 passengers.

Antonov An-2 (Colt) (Cont'd)

Single-Engine Biplane Utility Aircraft

Antonov An-2 (Colt) (Cont'd)

Single-Engine Biplane Utility Aircraft

Soviet / Russian Production

Beyond the typical prototype and evaluation models, the Soviet Union/Russia has produced the majority of the existing An-2 variants while Poland contributed as well. Produced types ranged from basic observation and reconnaissance aircraft to specialized floatplanes, artillery observation, mail carrier, cargo transport, VTOL-minded projects, survey and photographic platforms, fire bombers and firefighters, research and VIP transports. Agricultural versions have seen extended use in for both Poland and China.

Chinese Production

China has produced many versions of the An-2 beginning with the Fong Shou-2 ("Harvester-2"). This was the first An-2 built to agricultural specifications. The Nanchang Y-5 is a transport version since taken over in production by Harbin with 727 examples delivered. Nanchang Y-5II was an agricultural form seeing production number 229. Shijiazhuang Y-5A was a light passenger model based on the An-2T and produced in 114 examples. The agricultural derivative became the Shijiazhuang Y-5B based on the An-2 SKh. The PLAAF makes use of the Shijiazhuang Y-5B(T) para-drop model. The Nanchang Y-5C is an amphibious version of the Y-5A while the Nanchang Y-5D is a bomber crew trainer. The Nanchang Y-5K became a VIP passenger transport seating five.

Antonov An-2 Operators

Notable operators of the An-2 include (or have included) Afghanistan, China, Cuba, East Germany (and Germany proper), Egypt, Georgia, Hungary, Iraq, Laos, Lithuania, Macedonia, North Yemen, North Korea, Poland, South Korea, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, Vietnam, Yemen and Yugoslavia.

Combat History

Despite its fragile appearance, the Antonov An-2 has seen its fair share of combat action. It was debuted in such a manner during the Korean War (1950-1953) and later in the Vietnam War - the latter by the North Vietnamese. Some An-2's were converted from their traditional crop dusting roles to become make-shift bombers in the Croatian War of Independence (1991).

July 2017 - A Fully-composite reworking of the classic An-2 biplane aircraft was debuted at MAKS 2017. The aircraft is designated as An-2TVS-2DTS. The aircraft recorded a first-flight in July 2017 and is powered by 1 x Honeywell TPE331-12 turboprop engine.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (160mph).

    Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Antonov An-2 (Colt)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
In the Cockpit...
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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