Hat tip to the Aviationist blog for finding and posting this old video of an Antonov An-2 Colt’s appearance in a 2006 Krakow air show showing just what the aircraft is capable of. The Antonov An-2 was a Soviet-era workhorse airplane designed by Oleg Antonov that was intended as an all purpose aircraft for just about everything from crop dusting to training parachutists. They even saw combat action in the Korean War, clandestine action over Laos during the Vietnam War and were last used in the Croatian War of Independence against Serbia/Yugoslavia back in the early 1990s.
According to the Antonov An-2’s Wikipedia Page, the aircraft’s high noise levels, increasing maintenance costs, high fuel consumption and unsophisticated nature (as the pre-flight checks take between 30 and 40 minutes) mean they are obsolete for commercial service in Europe and huge numbers are available for very low prices (for as little as $30,000). This of course makes them an ideal aircraft for the developing world where they are used to carry large loads into short airstrips.
The video shows the types of maneuvers an Antonov An-2 is capable of, from aerobatics and low speed passes to loops and extremely short landings:
I didn’t know those aircrafts are so chear and one has a cost of just 30.000$. It is a pity they have such a higher maintanance cost but a pre-flight check of about 30 to 40 minutes is a pain. Nice video, I didn’t know this aircraft had such a unsuspected carachteristics.