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P_7878

Aerosoft Annushka Antonov-2

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I had wished to try the SibWings AN-2 simulation (as I recall - it was excellent and highly authentic), but apparently during the years of my hiatus from SIM, SibWings has ceased existence. So, I recently picked up, on SALE, the Aerosoft version of the AN-2 (by Alexander Metzger, who had also created AS's Wilga, an equally good SIM, for which I had posted a VFR flight earlier). This AN-2 aircraft has been well-tested in the forums, but I just wished to share a bit of my enjoyment in taking it into the air for the first time (with engines ready-to-go). It's a learning SIM, for sure, that would require a lot of dedication.

AN-2 is truly a classic utility aircraft (reminds one of the famous and rugged bush-plane DHC-3 Otter). It was produced continuously between 1947-2001, making its production run, for a time, (according to the Guinness Book of Records) the longest ever for any aircraft - to be eventually exceeded by the 4-prop C-130 Hercules. Most AN-2s (over 13000 of the total 18000) were produced at the Poland's WSK factory. Curiously, AN-2 was powered by the Shvetsov-62 radial engine, which was essentially a version of the American (Curtiss-Wright) R-1820 Cyclone, produced under license in the Soviet Union. Please see the close-up shot of this radial engine. This aircraft is known for remarkable durability and adaptability, and is capable of lift-off from extremely short and rough runways. Per record, AN-2 has effectively no stall speed, a fact which is quoted in the operating book. Hope you enjoy these few pictures of this unique aircraft in flight (around wintry Moscow, Sheremetyevo airport). [AS - AN2/UUEE, REX]

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