The “Anushka” (“Annie”) as it is known to Russian pilots was designed just after WW2 to the specifications of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the USSR, for service as a long range bush plane, to support forest rangers in their out-posts and to monitor the vast resources of the Siberian forests. An-2’s entered production in 1947 and proved so capable that they were almost immediately adapted by the military as a light (an arguable statement) utility transport. Shortly there-after, Aeroflot adapted it for use as a regional transport aircraft. More than 5,000 were built in Russia until 1960 when production of the aircraft was transferred to Poland. Production continued there, without any significant changes in the design, until 1992 when the last major contract was completed. It is estimated that over 15,000 were built in Poland in six different variants. These were shipped in quantity to nearly every East European country and every Russian ally in the world during the Cold War. Though the production line is closed, the factory in Poland still retains the tooling and occasionally produces “new builds” from stored assemblies. The airplane continues in production under license in Red China.
On 7 October 2000, the above An-2 aircraft, s/n ANATDSR-IR-16550 model 1975, was provided to the museum by Mike Alex, a long time volunteer and supporter of March Field Air Museum. It had been obtained from a small town in Mexico, Ejido Tierra y Libertad of Bahia de los Angeles B.C, which became owner after it had been abandoned there for many years.
By kjfitz @ 2007-03-11 22:19:33