For most people, the biplane may seem like an aircraft design relegated to the past history of aviation rather than a part of the current aircraft being used commercially. This impression is correct for the most part as only a few biplane aircraft are currently used in commercial aviation work, but one specifically stands out… the Antonov AN-2, originally designed in 1946 by the USSR and actively produced until 2002… 55 years after its first flight! The popularity and importance of the AN-2 to transportation and aviation within the countries that comprise the former USSR including Russia and the Ukraine as well as other nations like China and other Eastern European nations where the aircraft has been exported makes the AN-2 a fitting feature on Tattoos In Flight today, with this outstanding example of realistic black and grey tattooing by Ukrainian tattoo artist Denis Sivak.
The An-2, also known by its NATO Codename “Colt”, was designed for use in short, unimproved airfields or even flat pastures and frozen lakes when an airport isn’t close. It’s unique biplane configuration combined with large flaps and a powerful radial engine make it well-suited for operations in extreme environments where speed isn’t always the first requirement. The AN-2 is used as a light utility transport, parachute drop aircraft, agricultural application aircraft and fire attack aircraft and can be outfitted with standard landing gear, skis, or floats. The original prototype first flew on August 31st, 1947.
Over 18,000 AN-2 aircraft were built during it’s 55 year production run and it went through a variety of variants and design changes as can be seen on its Wikipedia article. It remains the 12th most produced aircraft in history and stands as the most produced biplane ever. Though no longer produced by Antonov, the AN-2 may begin production again under license by Shijiazhuang in China as a turboprop aircraft designated the Y-5B.
This realistic black and grey shoulder tattoo was created by the talented Ukrainian tattoo artist Denis Sivak tattooing from L.O.V.E.machine tattoo studio in Odessa, Ukraine.
Special thanks to Bob Baxter’s Tattoo Road Trip blog at TattooRoadTrip.com for introducing us to the tattoo art of Denis Sivak, allowing us to feature his work here on Tattoos In Flight!
Please click on the image below for a larger image.
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