Probably the safest double-decker in the world

75 years ago …

It has been in tireless use for three quarters of a century now – for example, as a passenger, freight, sanitary and agricultural aircraft as well as in the military: the prototype of the famous Antonov An-2 had its first flight on 31 August 1947.

The aircraft, considered the largest single-engine double-decker in the world still flying in the sky, was designed in the former Soviet Union by Oleg Antonov. Born in 1906, the aircraft designer had founded a construction office in Novosibirsk in 1946, but later moved it to Kiev.

His concept for the new double-decker: a simply designed, hardy aircraft with large wing surface areas that generate a lot of lift even at low speeds and thus lead to excellent short-take-off capabilities. In addition, Antonov's aircraft has excellent slow flight characteristics.

The An-2 took to the skies for the first time on 31 August 1947 near the city of Novosibirsk, equipped with a seven-cylinder radial engine and flown by pilot N. P. Volodin.

Series production began in Kiev in October 1948, and production was relocated to Poland in 1960. The durable double-decker is still valiantly used in many countries today and is considered one of the safest double-deckers ever.

In our exhibitions:
The Technik Museum Sinsheim and the Technik Museum Speyer each have an Antonov An-2 on display. The multi-purpose double-decker is over 12 m long and over 5 m high; the upper wing of the aircraft has a wingspan of about 18 m. The aircraft can accommodate 12 to 14 passengers or 1240 kg of cargo.

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