Aviation of World War II

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Multipurpose Light Attack Aircraft


Polikarpov Po-2

This aircraft, created under the leadership of Polikarpov in 1928, became one of the best and most famous domestic aircraft. It has been in use for over 35 years. After the death of Polikarpov in 1944, the aircraft was renamed Po-2 in honor of its creator.

U-2 was designed for initial training and was the best fit for its purpose. He possessed excellent aerobatic qualities, he could only be entered into a tailspin deliberately, and he easily got out of it. The U-2 forgave even very gross mistakes of the pilot, and thanks to its excellent takeoff and landing characteristics, it could take off and land on very small sites, often completely unprepared.

According to its design, the U-2 is a typical biplane. Wooden structure with linen lining. Air-cooled motor M-11 with a power of 100 hp - the first completely domestic design. Like the plane, the M-11 engine turned out to be extremely successful. For more than two decades, it remained the main and practically the only domestic engine for light aircraft. U-2 was built not only as a training aircraft. He had many options for the most diverse purposes.

Among them are agricultural (for pollination), communication, headquarters, sanitary, aerial photography, passenger, float and a number of experimental ones. During the Great Patriotic War, this small training aircraft was converted into a light night bomber that could take up to 350 kg of bombs. In the rear cockpit of this aircraft, called the U-2VS, there was a firing point with a machine gun. Several aviation regiments armed with U-2VS operated at the fronts, which at night attacked the front line and the near rear of the enemy.

The U-2 was mass-produced until 1935, and operated even longer. A total of 33,000 such aircraft were produced.

U-2 in flight at 1940

Multipurpose Aircraft
U-1 U-2 UT-2 UT-1
Crew 2 2 2 1
Year of issue 1922 1928 1935 1937
Length, m 8.78 8.17 7.0 5.75
Wing span, m 10.85 11.4 10.2 7.3
Wing area, m2 30 33.15 17.12 9.58
Weight, kg:
Maximum takeoff weight 840 890 932 598
Engine M-2 M-11 M-11G M-11E
Power, hp 120 100 110 150
Maximum speed, km/h Maximum 137 150 205 257
Landing 68 67 90 80
Service ceiling, m 4500 3820 3100 7120
Photo Description
Drawing Po-2

Drawing Po-2


Polikarpov Po-2


  • "The history of designs of planes in USSR 1938-1950" /Vadim Shavrov/
  • "Planes of Stalin falcons" /Konstantin Kosminkov and Dmitriy Grinyuk/
  • "The Soviet planes" /Alexander Yakovlev/

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February 14, 2021.

In the photo above, the flights of 1940 in the flying club in Ivanovo. Perhaps, in the cockpits of the aircraft, the future heroes of World War II from the 46th Guards Women's NBAP.

Po-2 from 46th Guards Women's NBAP