Yes, I know, I know, it’s ANOTHER An-2…….

An-2, D-FKMA

I may have said this before but I REALLY like the An-2. The ‘Anushka’ is big, bold and burly….and makes a statement on the flightline. Thanks to the German Air Force, who declined this PZL-built former LSK (Luftstreitkrafte) East German machine (LSK-440), it came onto the open market. Here seen in the markings of ‘Aero Troika’ on the flightline at GVFWE Abingdon, it is now operated by Flight Training Cologne, and gives pleasure flights, mostly operating out of its home base. This An-2T (nicknamed ‘Anna’) was not built – at Mielec in Poland –  to any agreed international civilian standard, so the CAA would have a problem with allowing that kind of operation in the UK.

I went inside this aircraft and found it typical of the breed. The cockpit had an almost ‘agricultural’ feel to it; almost like a flying tractor – and about as tough, too! Difficult to think of this as being in any way belligerent, but, during the Vietnamese War, some North Vietnamese An-2s were fitted with two torpedoes slung underneath their wing, in an attempt to attack South Vietnamese coastal shipping. One of these North Vietnamese An-2s was shot down by an F-4 Phantom, under the control of USS Long Beach!

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