Designed originally for agricultural duties two prototypes of what became the An-2 were designated SKh-1 and the first example made its first flight on August 31, 1947. The type was developed by OKB-153 (Design Bureau 153) which was later named after Oleg Antonov. The prototypes had a Shvetsov ASh-61, respectively ASh-62, radial engine with the latter being selected for production aircraft. With an all metal fuselage and fabric wings aft of the main spar, the aircraft can carry a crew of 2 plus 14 passengers. NATO code name ‘Colt’ and is designated in US DoD nomenclature as the "Type 22".
Externally, the An-2 engine - powering a four-bladed propeller - is held in the extreme forward of the fuselage with the cockpit directly aft. The cockpit is heavily glazed and observation port windows can be seen along the fuselage sides. The wing arrangement is of a sesquiplane biplane and each wing is connected via a single large vertical strut making up a single wing bay and each wing has dihedral. The fuselage tapers slightly into the empennage which has a single large, smooth-edge vertical tail fin and stabilizers mounted to either tail fin side. The An-2 has fixed landing gear legs and a smaller tail wheel. The main landing gear legs feature wheel bogies angled inwards with each leg braced at two points along the underside of the fuselage
Accommodations are generally made for a crew of one pilot and cabin seating can hold an additional 12 passengers.
Almost 3600 An-2 were built at Kiev, ending in mid-1960s after limited manufacture of specialised agricultural An-2M. Production was transferred to PZL Mielec, Poland.
The An-2R developed and built by WSK-PZL in Poland was a special agricultar model. Introduced in 1964, it carried a fiberglass container for 1960 litre pesticides or 1350 kg fertilisers.
China acquired licence and has built Yunshuji-5 (Y-5) versions from 1957.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.
By 1991 over 18.000 of the different types were built in the Ukraine (5000), Poland (12000) and China (1000).
In 1994 the Polish manufacturer of the An-2, Meliec, produced a version which conformed to the US FAR 23 requirements.
The Antonov An-2 has seen combat action. It was debuted 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).
Notable operators of the An-2 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.
The An-3 was originally considered as a turboprop development of An-2, but was offered as a midlife upgrade of the An-2 to have a turboprop engine and other improvements (first flown 1980).
Another organization working on a "better" An-2 is SibNIA (Siberian Aeronautical Research Institute) in Novosibirsk, Russia. In this version, the An-2MS (An-2MC in Russian) and later usually referred to as the TVS-2MS), the radial engine was replaced by an 1,100 hp Honeywell TPE331-12UHR turbine, driving a five-bladed Hartzell propeller. The first An-2MS/TVS-2MS was first flown on September 5, 2011 and by 2015 well over fifteen examples had been delivered by SibNIA and Rusaviaprom JSC, all built, from existing An-2 airframes retaining the An-2 wings and tail feathers.
Antonov An-2 (Colt)
Engines: 1 x Shvetsov ASh-62IR 9-cylinder supercharged radial, 1,000 horsepower.
Length: 40.68ft (12.4m)
Wingspan: 59.71ft (18.20m)
Height: 13.45ft (4.10m)
Empty Weight: 7,275lbs (3,300kg)
Maximum Take-Off Weight: 12,125lbs (5,500kg)
Maximum Speed: 160mph (258kmh; 139kts)
Cruise: 100-110 kt.
Maximum Range: 525miles (845km)
Rate-of-Climb: 700ft/min (213m/min)
T/O roll: 220 ft.
Service Ceiling: 14,750 ft (4,500m)
Accommodation: 2 + 12
Engine : Shvetsov ASz-62 IR, 986 hp
Length : 41.798 ft / 12.74 m
Height: 4.1 m / 13 ft 5 in
Wingspan: 59 ft 9 in / 18.18 m or 14.2 m / 46 ft 7 in
Wing area: 71.4 sq.m / 768.54 sq ft
Max take off weight : 12127.5 lb / 5500.0 kg
Empty weight: 3350 kg / 7386 lb
Max. speed : 139 kts / 258 km/h
Cruise speed: 220 km/h / 137 mph
Service ceiling : 16404 ft / 5000 m
Range : 486 nm / 900 km
Crew : 2 + 16