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P_7878

Fifteen AN-2 "colors" from around the world

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I've known the AN-2 aircraft since my early days FS9 SIM (I recall, there were some excellent FW offerings for it). Then, for several years, I owned, and regularly flew SibWings's (marvelous) AN-2, but, lost use of it during my transition to FSX-SE and my years of break from SIM. More recently, I've acquired Aerosoft/OctopusG's AN2, and have been flying it around a bit (I'd posted my first account of it). I note that, back in 1947, this small single-engine (12 pax) biplane (named: Russian "Annushka" and NATO "Colt") was a significant achievement of the period, ahead of its time. It was also the one that had started it all for Antonov's illustrious and long-standing (and still continuing) aircraft-manufacturing tradition. Its (official) production was stopped in 2001, but, after nearly 75 years of its origin, it continues to be in service worldwide (currently 34 in the U.S). Respect for its legacy and durability is on a par with that of the incomparable Douglas DC-3! In fact, it was powered by the Shvetsov ASh-62 radial engine, which was essentially derived from the (same) reliable Wright R-1820 Cyclone that had also powered most of the early (civil version) DC-3s. [Side Note: The military (or converted-from-military) versions DC-3s would later switch to the Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp engine.] And, around our SIM, this plane is loved by the classic aircraft fans - including a few, here, who have had a chance to see it in-person.

Aerosoft's (authentic) AN2 (SIM) rendition is based on an actual aircraft (SP-ASR “Antonov Swiss Romande”), owned by Eric Sumerer from Switzerland (SIM image #1 below), which allowed the development team to faithfully reproduce the flight dynamics and other details of AN2 operation. The Aerosoft documentation is an excellent resource, including (interesting) reference for further reading about this plane, one of which says:

  1. "No airplane in history has been in continuous production essentially unchanged as long as the An-2. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to name any complex machine that has been manufactured as long."
  2. "Right up until the collapse of communism, Aeroflot held the record as the world's largest airline, both in terms of miles flown and passengers carried. This was not because they had lots of turbofan Tupolevs, Ilyushins and Concordskis (i.e. Supersonic Tu-144s) but because millions of those miles and passengers were flown and carried by simple An-2s chugging in and out of Siberian goatfields, Kazakh soccer patches and grass strips from Minsk to Pinsk..."

Today, to complement my Aerosoft AN2, I collected a few more liveries (not sure why, but, I guess, it feels good to be able to see a different color, while flying each time one of your favorite (and often used) SIM planes). So, please find, below, 15 selected colors of this famous plane, all images captured over water near the Hawaiian Islands, at various times of the day (sorry, to focus closely on the plane, there is no sight of the beautiful (nearby) mountains in these shots). All these 15 liveries (shown) are painted by Matt Levi, who, btw, fortuitously (such coincidences do not happen that often!), had caught sight of his RAAF(Sabre) repaint that I'd used here in one of my earlier posts on MilViz(F86). 

Below, just FYI, I've also listed the livery identifications (in the order of appearance) - in case you wish to co-relate them with the screenshot images: (1) SP-ASR (Swiss Romande - Aerosoft's SIM base) (2) Virtual Cockpit (3) P2-SEA (Talair - Papua New Guinea) (4) ICRC Red Cross International (5) VH-CCE (Saario Holdings - Australia) (6) OK-ELI (Private - Czech) (7) East German Air Force (8) RA-3105K (Peresvet Aero Club - Russia) (9) Aerotaxi (Cuba) (10) N75AN (Yankee Air Museum - Ypsilanti, MI, USA) (11) DM-SKE (Lufthansa) (this subtle blue-grey LH livery is one of my favorites!) (12) North Korean Air Force (13) Vietnamese Air Force (14) HA-ABD (GenAIRation Association- France) (15) Aero Club MALEV (16) Aeroflot (Russia)

Thanks for viewing, and, hope, you enjoy this collection of the AN2 snapshots (whether you're fan of the Soviet Classics or not).

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Great images - I was lucky enough to go on a 30 min flight in VH-CEE a few years back. I was awe struck by the size, it has a cavernous cabin. The flying stability is obvious albeit the slow airspeed gives the impression you could walk faster. Sitting in the cockpit is like you are sitting in an atrium. The sound of the massive radial engine is unique and guttural, the takeoff roll seemed as  it was about 300 feet. I was so impressed by this aircraft I purchased scale plans to build a radio control version(yet to be commenced)

Thanks for posting.

Edited by JustanotherPilot
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What a great presentation! Makes me want to dust off my Sibwings version (I've got almost 50 liveries) and resume flying.

John

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I did enjoy your collection of snaps. Thank you.

This bird is a tad too slow for me. 😀

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46 minutes ago, Ron Attwood said:

They smack you in the eye don't they Matt?

a smack like from a pair of sweaty sports underwear to the face

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(Note: I seem to be having some image display issues.....don't know why...)

 

Steve: Glad you had the chance of an up-close actual encounter with this plane! Thanks for your (1st-hand) observations...always valuable and interesting here...!

John: Thank you. Yes, it's probably time to bring alive your Sibwings plane for a flight...nice plane it was....!


Ed:

Agree, it's slow (not only slow it can reportedly even fly backward....new definition of slow....🙂.....see below), but, there are no questions it certainly has its own unique virtues...

And, of course, it's perfect for low and slow VFR in the SIM...

Here are two more observations, in this connection, I found, that may be interesting:

"An-2s were used by the Soviet army to carry paratroops-indeed the airplane itself flies like a parachute-and though their code name "Colt" certainly is laughable for an airplane that is the opposite of frisky, they are a legitimate ex-military type."

"All in all, a remarkable machine. If your idea of heaven is being able to fly backward in a 30-knot headwind while carrying an entire baseball team plus the manager for the price of a mid-range BMW, have we got an airplane for you."

Edited by P_7878

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Matt:

NP. Here below, are the two replaced textures...(please check them out...🙂...).

I don't seem to see any difference in the SKE image though...it could be my upload or I could be missing something..., but I used the above link. Anyway...just check, whenever, and let me know...no hurry at all, Matt...this does not impact my flying pleasure with this aircraft...!

(BTW, thanks for your (prolific) livery contributions across multiple plane types....appreciate all your efforts...!)

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What a great post again.

Glad to see two GDR liveries!

Beside flying the An-2 then and when in the sim, I had the opportunity twice to be a passenger in the real thing. The engine start sequence is a symphony of its own. And getting into the air is real flying, in the little cabin that shakes and rolls, instead of being in a metal tube that hardly gives you the feeling of actual flying anymore.

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On 9/11/2019 at 2:19 PM, jeansy said:

a smack like from a pair of sweaty sports underwear to the face

Yeuch!

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On 9/11/2019 at 4:09 PM, P_7878 said:

don't seem to see any difference in the SKE image though.

The registration  under the wing is upside down.

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yep, i have to check the zip on my end, i may not have fixed it or re uploaded it

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