Actually, the An-2 is just like other biplanes, only there’s more of it.
January 23, 2016 10:50 PM   Subscribe

I guess all things are relative. 1000 HP doesn't sound like a lot to me, but I just looked it up and the Sopwith Camel engine was 130 HP. On the other hand, the engine in the F4U Corsair was 2000 HP.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:01 AM on January 24, 2016

posted by Joe in Australia at 1:54 AM on January 24, 2016 [9 favorites]

The plane is super cool and all but I'd be so much more impressed if these guys were flying it in Porco Rosso style sky pirate cosplay. I guess that says a lot about my priorities.
posted by threecheesetrees at 2:21 AM on January 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

God, that was riveting!
posted by TheCoug at 2:25 AM on January 24, 2016

What a neat plane! Kind of wish the article had included some video.
posted by james33 at 2:52 AM on January 24, 2016

If you're around St. Louis, you can visit one of these at the Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum and go inside. I took a gigapan image of the cockpit there a long time ago if you want to zoom in and see all of the controls up close.
posted by tss at 3:23 AM on January 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm afraid I have.
posted by Segundus at 3:30 AM on January 24, 2016 [5 favorites]

The An-2 was basically the Soviet design that occupied an equivalent cultural niche to the DC-3. Yes, they made knock-off copies of the DC-3 (the Lisunov Li-2) as airliners and military transports—nearly six thousand of them—but the An-2 was a post-war design, originally conceived as a collective farm utility aircraft and crop duster. It held the record for the longest ever production run for any aircraft until it was recently overtaken by the C-130 Hercules: possibly a sign that the design was entirely optimal for the niche it filled.
posted by cstross at 4:35 AM on January 24, 2016 [6 favorites]

She pokes up two big fingers at the quaint notion that if it looks right, it’ll fly right− she’s living proof of the fact that if you pack in enough power, you could get Tower Bridge off the ground
posted by wotsac at 6:10 AM on January 24, 2016

The prose is wonderful, it's so loving.
posted by Nelson at 7:16 AM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Amazing read for a sleepy Sunday morning. Thanks for posting!
posted by Alterscape at 7:24 AM on January 24, 2016

That was a blast to read!
posted by a halcyon day at 7:31 AM on January 24, 2016

Some video of taxiing and take off. What a beast!
posted by Bee'sWing at 7:52 AM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

slipped the surly bonds of Earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings, not so much.

A very similar engine is in the Dromader, a much smaller crop duster. Unloaded, they're all noisy grunt and smoke, and can climb like the blazes.
posted by scruss at 8:09 AM on January 24, 2016

An-2 (Wikipedia). There's also an An-3.
posted by Brian B. at 8:35 AM on January 24, 2016

Gawd. That starting procedure.

I will never gripe about the starting procedures on fuel-injected Lycomings and Continentals again.
posted by Thistledown at 6:56 AM on January 25, 2016

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