of wood, and fabric covered, the PO-2 was originally designed
and built in the late 1920’s as a training and light utility
the Russian people, World War II was known as the “Great
By the time the Russians became involved, 13,000
had been built.
They went on to be used for liaison, light attack,
nuisance reader and propaganda aircraft complete with
microphone and loudspeaker.
The plane holds the record for the longest production
run in history.
Almost 40,000 were built between 1928 and 1959.
After the war, Poland built PO-2’s in large quantities.
Used for training, agriculture, mail delivery and
limited service with Aeroflot, PO-2’s were known as a
safe and reliable aircraft.
During the 'Great Patriotic War' (World
War II), PO-2’s were used for close air support, bombing
and night harassment raids.
These raids were emulated a decade later in the
Korean War when North Koreans would fly low at night and
drop hand-grenades on our troops - again in PO-2’s.
was acquired from Poland in 1998 from Jan Borowski.
It was flown to England where some minor restoration
was done before it was shipped to Florida.
Upon arrival it was sent on tour as part of a traveling
exhibition that Kermit put together called “World War
II Through Russian Eyes”.
The exhibit portrayed the war from the Russian
perspective and displayed many famous artifacts from the
Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow.
Some of these items included the original battle
map for Berlin, Stalin’s coat, hat and revolver, Rommel’s
baton, the eagle from the top of the reichstag and many
items from Hitler’s bunker including his jacket, hat and
Even though they were built into the
1950’s, this aircraft has no brakes and a tailskid so
must be flown off of grass or dirt runways! There are
only a few PO-2’s flying today in the western world.
During World War
II there was a Russian squadron completely composed of
Russian women, pilots, officers, mechanics and ground
women pilots that flew these aircraft performed various
duties including night harassment raids on the Germans.
Imagine flying one of these at night, during a
Russian winter, open-cockpit, low over enemy territory.
On top of that, they would temporarily shut the
engine down to avoid being heard, glide over enemy troops
and drop bombs and grenades out of the cockpit!
Later, under-wing bomb racks and rockets were installed.
The Germans named them the “Nachcthexen”, which
translated made them famous as the “Night Witches.”