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Antonov An-2 Colt

From the Russian Aviation Museum An-2 page

The first aircraft ordered to newborn Antonov KB was special agricultural aircraft designated SKhA-1. The idea of this aircraft was studied by O.K.Antonov since 1940, and choice of biplane scheme was made after serious analysis of different options.

By the State Order the ASh-21 engine had to be used. But designer was sure that more powerful ASh-62IR will be more suitable. As a result, aircraft was tested with two interchangeable powerplants (each with its own propeller).

First flight with ASh-21 was performed on August 31, 1947 (pilot P.N.Volodin). Trials continued until July 1948. It became clear that with the ASh-62IR engine aircraft became really multipurpose - light commuter transport and passenger functions were obvious.

Major material for fuselage - duralumin D-16T. Fixed landing gear - steel. Wing and controls skin - fabrics (on later versions leading edge has metal covering up to main spar). Mechanically actuated differential ailerons, elevators and rudder, using cables and push/pull rods; electric trim tab in port aileron, rudder and port elevator; full-span automatic leading-edge slats on upper wings provide excellent slow speed safety and high lift; electrically actuated slotted trailing-edge flaps on both wings. Dual controls and blind-flight instrumentation are standard. Passenger door is a part of 1.53x1.46m2 cargo hatch. Fuel tanks (1200l, 900kg) are in the upper wing. Normal crew is two, but single pilot is allowed to fly An-2 when no passengers embarked. During winter season An-2 operates on skis. An-2 skis are equipped with pneumatically-controlled brakes.

The Antonov An-2 is well known in the World as a first class work-horse. It is not exactly pretty but it is very functional, and arguably the finest bush plane in the world in its price class. Over 5,000 built in Russia by 1960. Since 1960 few dozen modified An-2M were built in the USSR. Since 1957 under license production in China as Yunshuji-5 (Transport aircraft 5). General purpose Y-5N and agricultural Y-5B are also in production. Versions An-2T and An-2R were under production in Poland by PZL Mielec since 1960, now drastically reduced.

Over 11,950 (15,000?) An-2s built by Mielec for domestic use and export to USSR/CIS (10,440), Bulgaria, former Czechoslovakia, Egypt, France, former East Germany, Hungary, Iraq, North Korea, Mongolia, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Romania, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, the UK, Venezuela and former Yugoslavia; in 1989, AICSA of Colombia assembled two An-2s from kits supplied via Pezetel.

About 300 are still in service with Russian Air Force, mostly for parachute training. Much more - in civil agricultural, forestry and transportation. None airplane before or since has been able to carry as much into strips as short and be as maintainable and utilitarian as the An-2.

The Temple Air Colt

Most of the details of the real aircraft translate well into X-Plane except for the rounded vertical stabilizer. The current version of X-Plane does have a problem with the tail wheel strut, causing it to compress completely and drag the bottom of the rudder on the ground.

The Colt has half-span slotted flaps on the top wing, and full span slotted flaps on the bottom, as well as full span leading edge slats on the top. All flaps can be lowered to forty-five degrees. And in case that isn't enough lift, the ailerons droop to twenty degrees in conjunction with the flaps!

Flying the Temple Air Colt

The Temple Air Colt is not a very fast plane, or the most maneuverable, but it's an experience putting all that lift to use. For takeoff at half fuel and no load, one-third flaps is plenty. Crank in about one-third nose up trim, release the brakes and start rolling. Push the stick forward to lift the tail, and as the plane accelerates it will lift off the ground. Once you have some speed (more than 60 mph is fine) you can raise the flaps and trim to neutral. The Colt flies very well and can be thrown about without much concern. Landing is easy, use two-thirds or full flaps as desired, but be aware that you will kill off your airspeed quickly at full flaps.

For fun, try loading up the Colt to the normal maximum weight and practice your takeoffs. Then move all the weight sliders to the right and go for a max overload takeoff! It can be done, but requires patience and a smooth touch.

Finally, try a real challenge. Land your Colt on a frigate! It can be done, if you are careful.

Download the Antonov An-2 Colt version 1.0 (X-Plane version 5.62)

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