On August 31 of 1947, the prototype of Antonov’s An-2 took to the air for the first time. An instantly recognisable aircraft, the An-2 was given the name “Colt” in NATO’s code naming system for Soviet military aircraft during the Cold War.
Holding the distinction of being the largest single engine biplane ever to be put in production, the aircraft was in production from 1947 to 2001; an astoundingly long period for any aircraft.
Over 18,000 examples of the type are known to have been built between production lines in the former Soviet Union, Poland and China.
Here’s a selection of pictures I’ve taken of An-2s at various times and locations: